If you have visited Istanbul before and your stay included a tour of the Akaretler area’s glamourous designer boutiques, you are in for a surprise. This year you will find Akaretler’s famous Row Houses have shed their glitzy fashion skins, transforming into contemporary art galleries.
New to the neighbourhood is Rampa Gallery, one of the pioneers of the Istanbul art scene. Founded in 2010 by an architect couple with a penchant for collecting contemporary art, Rampa is comprised of two separate venues located right across from each other on Åžair Nedim Street.
On your visit in you’ll notice that the first space on the ground floor functions as a small project room, whereas the spacious 900 square metre main gallery is hidden beneath a supermarket. Designed as an open space in order to accommodate diverse exhibitions, the underground gallery provides facilities for large-scale works and installations.
Rampa’s roster of leading artists stirred up the Istanbul art scene from its opening exhibition by Cengiz Cekil last year. 66-year old Cekil is considered to be a vanguard in contemporary art as well as a role model and mentor to a young generation of artists. VasÄ±f Kortun, a Turkish writer and professor of contemporary visual art, curated Cekil’s solo exhibition. Kortun has assembled works produced between 1974 and 2010. Cekil’s ‘Diary’ (1976) was acquired by New York’s Museum of Modern Art last year and exhibited as a part of the ‘I Am Still Alive: Politics and Everyday Life in Contemporary Drawing’ show, held earlier this year.
This fall, Rampa opens its art season with the renowned video artist, Ergin Cavusoglu. Shortlisted for the prestigious Artes Mundi Prize, Bulgarian-born Cavusoglu is exhibiting a selection of old and new videos, sculptural works and drawings in his solo ‘Alterity’ show, where he experiments with the human impulse to try and find meaning and patterns in an otherwise random and indifferent universe. The gallery also represents internationally acclaimed artists Ahmet Oran, AyÅŸe Erkmen, Erinç Seymen, Güçlü Öztekin, Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin, Leyla Gediz, Nevin AladaÄŸ, Nilbar GüreÅŸ and Vahap AvÅŸar.
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