The Istanbul Art & Antiques Fair (IAAF), which brought a large number of works of art and antiques together in its first edition last year, opened its doors once again to welcome Istanbulite enthusiasts on Nov. 4. The second Babylons & IAAF Art and Antique Fair launched with a preview and a special recital by famous pianist Gülsin Onay at Istanbul Congress Center and Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center (ICEC).
The fair hosts 600 artists, 40 galleries, 35 antique companies and many local and foreign works in an area of 30,000 square meters (322,917 square feet). While bringing together many local and foreign artists under one roof, the organization takes visitors on a journey into the past, with its antique pieces, and into the future, with its NFT collection. In the event, academic meetings and panels are also being held with the participation of expert guests along with the exhibitions of artworks and antiques.
With antique ornaments, centuries-old accessories, furniture sets and the works of local and foreign artists, Babylons & IAAF Art and Antique Fair offers visitors an artistic feast. One of the fair's standout exhibitions is “Çağdaş Sanatımızın Göstergeleri’’ ("Indicators of Our Contemporary Art"), curated by professor Kıymet Giray.
Speaking to Daily Sabah, Giray went into more detail about the exhibition, prepared as part of the Bodrum Municipality Art Project. According to her, “Çağdaş Sanatımızın Göstergeleri’’ presents works by famous Turkish painters and sculptors who are cornerstones of the country’s art history. Among the works are masterpieces selected from venerated artists such as Devrim Erbil, Ergin Inan, Selim Turan, Hanefi Yeter, Ibrahim Örs, Burçin Erdi and sculptor Rahmi Aksungur.
With the show, visitors can explore the essence of Turkey’s vibrant culture with Erbil’s abstract paintings which capture Istanbul and Anatolia from a bird’s eye view. Or they may examine the synthesis of West and East in the works of Inan, in which he uses insects and human figures to reflect the visual and symbolic relationships established between images.
Then, they will witness how Turan establishes bridges between Eastern and Western cultures that are too subtle and fine to identify at first sight. While getting lost in the dream and dance world of Yeter, they can see the unique painting style of Örs consisting of accurate lines and inspired by baroque art.
Erdi’s dark paintings that focus on mortal contrasts such as death and life and Aksungur’s sculptures that spotlight the sculpture-space relationship are sure to offer new arenas of experience to visitors.
Giray also said about the works of the exhibition: “Erbil's ‘Yeşil Soyut’ (‘Green Abstract’) is a masterpiece. Likewise, Inan's dome-like installation named ‘Istanbul’ is a masterpiece with its form, meaning and composition. Aksungur's fish sculpture is also one of the artist's most precious compositions. Yeter's figurative composition, with its irony and original form, is the representation of our artist and his art. Örs determines his place in the history of art with his portraits. Erdi takes part in the fair with her successful composition in which she determines the existence of the universe and human. And all the masterpieces by these precious artists wait for art enthusiasts at the Babylons & IAAF Art and Antique Fair.”
While “Çağdaş Sanatımızın Göstergeleri’’ offers an insight into the history of Turkish art at the fair, an exhibition prepared by Gallery Apollon introduces the new voices of the Turkish art scene to visitors. Gallery Apollon is an artist collective founded by artist and designer Karl Talip Kara. Having recently gained its new venue in the Nişantaşı neighborhood, the gallery was established as a place where artists can gather, express themselves and ensure their representation in exhibitions.
Following an open call for new generation artists, the gallery showcases artworks by Gamze Kırşavoğlu, Can Safa, Yusuf Akyol, Ayşe Önel, Emine Geçtan, Gizem Sezgin, Gülcan Karadağ, Gülsen Gökçeli Giz, Jüpiter Türe Güven, Karl Talip Kara, Özge Izğiş and Reyhan Uludağ in its booth at the Babylons & IAAF Art and Antique Fair. After examining masterpieces by the giants of the Turkish art scene at “Çağdaş Sanatımızın Göstergeleri’,” do not forget to visit Gallery Apollon’s booth to take a glimpse into the world of a new generation Turkish artists!