100-Year Perspective of Art: The Adventure of the Modern and Contemporary in Türkiye

The Adventure of the Modern and Contemporary in Türkiye

Curated by Bedri BAYKAM

Dates: November 10, 2023 - January 14, 2024

Venues: Taksim Sanat & Piramid Sanat

Nazmi Ziya GÜRAN • İbrahim ÇALLI • Mihri MÜŞFİK • Namık İSMAİL • Hamid GÖRELE • Cemal TOLLU • Abidin ELDEROĞLU • Fahrelnissa ZEİD • Fikret MUALLA • Ali Avni ÇELEBİ • Nurullah BERK • Hale ASAF • Sabri BERKEL • Bedri Rahmi EYÜBOĞLU • Abidin DİNO • Ferruh BAŞAĞA • Şükriye DİKMEN • İlhan KOMAN • Kayıhan KESKİNOK • Neşet GÜNAL • Nejad Devrim MELİH • Mübin ORHON • Adnan TURANİ • Orhan PEKER • Adnan ÇOKER • Turan EROL •  Burhan DOĞANÇAY • Özdemir ALTAN • Ömer ULUÇ • Erol AKYAVAŞ • Yüksel ARSLAN • Altan GÜRMAN • Devrim ERBİL • Nil YALTER • Tomur ATAGÖK • Neş’e ERDOK • KOMET • NEVHİZ • Nur KOÇAK • İpek DUBEN • Seyhun TOPUZ • Jale N. ERZEN • Meriç HIZAL • Yalçın GÖKÇEBAĞ • Koray ARİŞ • Muzaffer AKYOL • Tülin ONAT • Balkan Naci İSLİMYELİ • Ekrem KAHRAMAN • Osman DİNÇ • Azade KÖKER • Bünyamin ÖZGÜLTEKİN • Yusuf TAKTAK • Aydın AYAN • Serhat KİRAZ • Suzan BATU • Kezban Arca BATIBEKİ • İsmet DOĞAN • BUBİ • Server DEMİRTAŞ • Ahmet ORAN • Selma GÜRBÜZ • Temür KÖRAN • Mustafa KARYAĞDI • Şükran MORAL • Gül ILGAZ • Mehmet YILMAZ • Murat GERMEN • Varol TOPAÇ • Genco GÜLAN • Haluk AKAKÇE • Leyla EMADİ • Ardan ÖZMENOĞLU • Hayal İNCEDOĞAN • OUCHHH • Ertuğrul AKYÜZ • Gökhan TÜFEKÇİ • Tayfun GÜLNAR • Sebuh Görkem CANDAN • Şevval BAŞALAN

Guest of Honor Painter and Her Work *: Belkıs Mustafa “Melon and Fig”

The İstanbul art scene will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic with the works of 81 Turkish artists.

With the collaboration of Kültür AŞ (Culture Inc.) and Piramid Sanat, "100-Year Perspective of Art: The Adventure of the Modern and Contemporary in Türkiye" presents the audience with a wide selection of eras from different generations of Türkiye’s art scene.

The show, which is located in two spaces in Taksim Square, in the heart of the city, Piramid Sanat and Taksim Sanat, is curated by Bedri Baykam. In the catalog, in addition to the introductory articles of Murat Abbas (Kültür AŞ General Manager) and Baykam himself, there are also comprehensive articles by Levent Çalıkoğlu (Former Director and head curator of İstanbul Modern Museum), Prof. Dr. Hasan Bülent Kahraman (Academician, Curator, Art and Literary Critic) and Yusuf Taktak (Artist and Curator). With a series of panel discussions around visual arts as well as other disciplines of art, the pulse of Turkish art over the century will be conveyed to art lovers with valuable speakers every Saturday within the two months of the duration of the exhibition. 

Bedri Baykam dedicates this historical exhibition to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.

 Baykam summarizes the conceptual framework of the exhibition as follows:

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who envisioned plastic arts as a perceptible reflection of his own revolution, gave sincere interest and love to the artists around the School of Fine Arts, which was founded by Ottoman period painters, especially Osman Hamdi, in the previous period. Mustafa Kemal's era reinforced the dialogue of artists with its citizens and the world as well, both with his respectful as well as affectuous approach to painters and sculptors at the openings he attended and with his constructive plans for them. Artists later were sent to different parts of the country and to Paris. In the post-Atatürk period, the Paris School of Turkish artists and other artists who later went to different parts of Europe and the United States accelerated our integration with the universal art world.

All the efforts for breaking the shell within the 80s could have turned into a big fiasco. However, that wasn’t the case. The 80s hit the mark and entered our history as the revolutionary years of Turkish art. Different movements and styles, especially New Expressionism and Conceptual Art, came to the center of the Turkish art scene with individual debuts and organized group exhibitions, bringing simultaneity between Türkiye and the international art scene. Instead of being dragged along with European dominant art movements, Turkish young artists now felt granted an endless array of possibilities, with all their associated individual rights in the post-modern world; the future now could be said to be ‘truly in the skies’ precisely as Atatürk claimed it. Freedom had finally come!

Based on all this balance, the exhibition titled ‘100-Year Perspective of Art: The Adventure of the Modern and Contemporary in Türkiye' presents different periods of Türkiye’s art history, allowing this rich style effervescence to parade in front of our eyes as a visual feast.”

The exhibition, which will be the most comprehensive art show celebrated in Türkiye around the 100th year of the Republic, in addition to the places where it will be located, also brings us together with Ouchhh's (artist collective) high technology and artificial intelligence work in the subways and on various screens in the city. On the other hand, Görkem Candan's over three-meter Atatürk statue, which will be placed in the Museum Gazhane on the Asian side of the city, will be a very impressive additional contribution to the exhibition. Candan’s work, within the scope of the exhibition, allows viewers to have a completely different experience with the hyper-realistic perception it offers.

You can visit the exhibition "100-Year Perspective of Art: The Adventure of the Modern and Contemporary in Türkiye" which will last until Sunday, January 14, 2024.


* Mustafa Kemal Atatürk wanted an exhibition to be held in Ankara before declaring the Republic. "1. Ankara Painting Exhibition" was opened at Türk Ocakları on 14 October 1923 as the first exhibition of the Republic. Artist Belkıs Mustafa, who took part in the exhibition with her work "Melon and Fig", is the first Turkish female artist to receive a diploma from İnas Sanayi-i Nefîse Mektebi(First art school for women). The valuable work, entered the collection of Ahmet İhsan Pehlivanlı , who was a Parliament member then, upon the request of Atatürk with the kind letter he wrote, before  personally visiting the exhibition. This art piece takes place in this exhibition today as the guest of honor in "100-YEAR PERSPECTIVE OF ART: The Adventure of the Modern and Contemporary in Türkiye", 100 years after that day.



Taksim Sanat, the public exhibition space of Kültür AŞ (Culture Inc.), a subsidiary of İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality, aims to create a space for unique and independent artists to meet their audiences and carry themselves to the art’s arena. Furthermore, it aims to bring the public together with contemporary, digital, and traditional art featuring well-known artists.


Piramid Sanat, is an independent art center founded in 2006 by Bedri Baykam. Piramid Sanat shows canvases as well as multi-disciplinary and multi-media art; it is known as a free spirit space, without any self-censorship. Piramid Sanat is also a publishing house and the meeting point of the art scene with panel discussions and events.



Bedri Baykam, is one of the most well-known Turkish artists, as well as an established writer and political activist. He has had 147 solo exhibitions around the world, in addition to countless group shows. Baykam is one of the pioneers of the New-Expressionism movement and of multi-media political art. He is the author of 32 published books, and there are 52 catalogs and 8 books about his works. He served as World President of the IAA (Official partner of UNESCO) between 2015-2023.



For more information:

Elif Baş

+90 (542) 554 7182      piramid.sanat@gmail.com

Çağlar Koca

+90 (537) 260 7175     caglar.koca@kultur.istanbul.com

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