Mine Haydaroğlu

  • Gülsün Karamustafa, Prison Paintings 6, 1972, mixed media on paper, 15 3/4 × 16 1/2". From the series “Prison Paintings,” 1972–78.

    “Gülsün Karamustafa: Chronographia”

    Considering the political and social climate of Europe and the Middle East, there couldn’t be a better time for a European museum to host an exhibition by a Turkish artist who, for decades, has devoted her work to addressing such issues as politically induced migration, otherness, gender, and collective histories. Gülsün Karamustafa’s work in painting, sculpture, installation, and video traces historical and sociopolitical tensions while encouraging multiple readings—see, for example, her 1998 frieze made of illustrations from Islamic, Christian, and Jewish

  • Peter Zimmermann, Untitled, 2015, epoxy on canvas, 78 3/4 × 118 1/8".

    Peter Zimmermann

    With their shiny, abstract presence, the seven paintings in Peter Zimmermann’s show “CMYK” brought a sense of light-headedness to the viewer. The title referred to the technical process of color printing, whereby layered colors yield a final product, and also oriented the viewer to Zimmermann’s method. Made using epoxy on canvas, a technique particular to his practice, these large-scale works, with their big patches of color juxtaposed or blended into each other, have a considerable effect on the space in which they are installed: They affect the lighting of the room as well as the mood of the

  • View of “Akram Zaatari,” 2014–15. From left: Untitled, 2014; Time Capsule, Skeleton, 2013; Ain El-Mir 23.11.2002. Photo: Cengiz Tanc.

    Akram Zaatari

    This impressive survey of Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari’s career included twenty-seven works from 1998 to the present, thematically spread across three spacious floors. The top floor, “Poses and postures,” was a study of the representation of self through photographic and digital mediums; the middle floor, “On photography,” an in-depth revisit and study of the photographic archives that led Zaatari to establish, in collaboration with fellow artists, the seminal Arab Image Foundation; and the first floor, under the unwieldy rubric “Acts of excavation and their reverse, archaeology and its opposite,”

  • Mehmet Güleryüz

    This retrospective promises to crystallize the links between Mehmet Güleryüz’s works, presenting an oeuvre that addresses and questions Turkey’s sociopolitical issues and conflicts from the 1960s to the present. An aggressively sensitive painter, sculptor, and actor, the Istanbul-born Güleryüz appears influenced by modernist theater, bringing a touch of Brechtian detachment to his nevertheless moving depictions of grotesque figures, caged gorillas, and rabid dogs. This exhibition will present approximately two hundred works made between the ’60s and 2014, including

  • View of “Nevin Aladağ,” 2014. Walls: March (Istanbul), 2014. Center: Beeline (Istanbul), 2014.

    Nevin Aladağ

    A notable feature of the contemporary-art scene is the way it has put more artists into worldwide circulation than ever before. Traveling from city to city, these “glocal” artists bring myriad cultural inflections to exhibitions across five continents. Nevin Aladağ is among the artists riding this wave, from biennials in Taipei and Sharjah to museums in Munich (Pinakothek der Moderne) and Tokyo (Museum of Contemporary Art). Fittingly, and successfully, most of her performances and video works involve images and sounds of people and places in which each component can be felt or seen but the

  • İnci Eviner, Co-Action Device: A Study, 2013, mixed media installation with live performance by Sırma Öztaş. Galata Greek Primary School, Istanbul.

    İnci Eviner

    Suspended existence has been a recurring theme for Turkish artist İnci Eviner, and her 2012 video Nursing Modern Fall continues to convey this condition both in content and form. This single-wall projection presents a scene that resembles both Escher’s labyrinths and Bruegel’s town scenes in a three-minute loop, a filmic assemblage combining drawing and live action in which various figures perform repetitive gestures as if in broken images from a collective memory. Eviner’s drawings of humans in odd postures and fragmentary renderings of imaginary/real spaces superimposed by video techniques

  • Erol Akyavaş, Explosion, 1982, acrylic on canvas, 104 3/4 x 85 7/8".

    Erol Akyavaş

    Every city has its idiosyncrasies but some have more, and the complexities of Istanbul have been expressed clearly enough by the ongoing Gezi Park resistance. Employing peaceful forms of protest, the Gezi resistance has no leaders, but has developed a new language. It questions governing forces without using political tactics in any traditional sense. Not to underestimate the magnitude of this movement, and with all due respect to the memory of the six people killed during the protests as well as the thousands injured, there are similarities between the mind-set of the artist Erol Akyavaş (

  • İrem Tok, Time Machine, 2013, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    picks April 18, 2013

    İrem Tok

    “Against the Wind,” the second solo exhibition by Istanbul-based artist İrem Tok at this gallery, offers a collection of multimedia works produced during a three-month residency at Villa Waldberta near Munich. Together the pieces conjure up an atmosphere of solitude, and bring fairy tales to mind, at least at first. Two C-prints—Self-Portrait with Heart and Self-portrait with Mirror (all works 2013)—present a shy-looking young protagonist. Perhaps a contemporary Alice in a snowy Wonderland, she transforms throughout the exhibition, and she is literally at its core in the form of a mechanical

  • Füsun Onur, Variations (detail), 2012, paper clips and transparent adhesive on wall, dimensions variable.

    Füsun Onur

    Maçka Sanat Galerisi, a tiny gallery founded in 1976 by sisters Rabia Çapa and Varlık Yalman, has been very influential in the Turkish art scene. Its remarkable story deserves a longer article, but its importance should be at least briefly mentioned in any review of “Variations,” Füsun Onur’s recent exhibition there, for the gallery’s peculiar architecture has long influenced the work the artist has shown in the space. All its surfaces are covered with light-brown tiles; over three decades, Onur has sometimes treated this grid as a mathematical graph or as music paper, as in her quiet installations