November Paynter

  • View of “NON Unplugged 2012,” 2012.
    picks May 29, 2012

    Sislej Xhafa

    The key is a symbol of trust as well as entry, and Sislej Xhafa’s first solo exhibition in Istanbul offers the possibility for viewers to own a new key—and perhaps a nocturnal adventure. Xhafa’s installation contains only a chair, a table, and a key duplicating machine along with the man who runs it. The rest of the gallery is empty, and all security equipment has been removed. For a minimal sum of twenty Turkish liras, a key from the cutter’s growing pile can be purchased, and with it comes the opportunity to access gallery NON at any time, day or night.

    NON Unplugged 2012 is a re-siting of

  • View of “Stage,” 2012.
    picks May 11, 2012

    Nevin Aladağ

    The latest in Arter’s new commissioned series of solo exhibitions is Nevin Aladağ’s “Stage,” six installations, made of brightly colored artificial hair, that mimic the look of stage curtains. The works frame the walls of the space and offer multiple outlets—a crimson, fringed opera-style drape; maroon pigtails reminiscent of an amateur theater prop; and an azure blue clownish bob—to provide for a variety of potential performances and audiences. References to women’s hair coverings, cloths, or wigs are often a clichéd and complex topic in Turkey. But Aladağ sidesteps this debate by composing an

  • Zarina Hashmi, Atlas of My World, 2001, portfolio of six woodcuts with Urdu text printed in black on handmade Indian paper, 25 1/2 x 19 1/2”.

    12th Istanbul Biennial

    To foil the designs of an overeager art market, this year’s Istanbul Biennial curators are withholding the full artist list until the opening and desensationalizing the question of theme by titling this iteration Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011.”

    To foil the designs of an overeager art market, this year’s Istanbul Biennial curators are withholding the full artist list until the opening and desensationalizing the question of theme by titling this iteration Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011.” Motivating their critical stance, they say, is their reading of the practice and ideals of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, whose mix of formal ingenuity and politics will be the focus of five minishows—“Untitled (Passport),” “Untitled (Ross),” “Untitled (Death by Gun),” “Untitled (Abstraction),” and “

  • Kutluğ Ataman, 99 Names, 2002, video installation.

    Kutluğ Ataman

    Kutluğ Ataman first gained prominence when his eight-hour video installation semiha b. unplugged, 1997, was included in that year’s Istanbul Biennial. Since then he has occasionally shown works in Turkey, but, though he has been exceptionally well represented on the international art map—he received a nomination for the Tate’s Turner Prize in 2004—this exhibition, “The Enemy Inside of Me,” is his first retrospective in his homeland.

    Featuring eleven works dating from 1999 to 2010, the selection incorporates significant productions that mark key moments in the development of Ataman’s

  • Ciprian Mureşan

    “If we wanna understand the Humans, we gotta see them at their lowest. The Evil—as they call it—that’s what we study today.” This line is the protagonist’s pessimistic view of humanity that opens Ciprian Mureşan’s video Dog Luv, 2009, which premiered at the Romanian Pavilion in the Venice Biennale last year. Based on a script by Saviana Stănescu, Dog Luv was presented at Plan B alongside Untitled (Tom Chamberlain), 2009, a video that teases out the titular English artist’s painting practice. Mureşan’s solo exhibition was the first in the gallery’s new location within an old brush factory—a

  • View of “Haris Epaminonda,” 2009.
    picks October 26, 2009

    Haris Epaminonda

    To the right of the entrance hangs a small, framed book page that depicts a man looking up at a towering termite mound. The unusual scale and perspective of this landscape with figure sets the tone for the formation and play of space experienced in Epaminonda’s “VOL. IV.” The exhibition follows Epaminonda’s solo presentation “VOL. I, II & III,” which took place at the Malmö Konsthall earlier this year, and here the mazelike reorganization of the space contains a series of three-dimensional collages that Epaminonda describes as “sentences. ” While the first is made up of just one found folio—the

  • View of “Nedko Solakov,” 2009.
    picks May 23, 2009

    Nedko Solakov

    Encompassing three decades of his work, Nedko Solakov’s retrospective at the Sofia Art Gallery is his first large-scale exhibition in Bulgaria since 1988. Curated by Iara Boubnova and Maria Vassileva, the exhibition is arranged in chronological order, with each year of his production––from 1981 to present––noted on a board. The show begins with a selection of Solakov’s early oil paintings, which brought him acclaim in the 1980s. Some of these are gathered in groups, are displayed on the floor, lean against the gallery’s plinths, or are installed on the columns. This unconventional arrangement

  • View of “No More Reality: Crowd and Performance,” 2009.
    picks February 15, 2009

    “No More Reality: Crowd and Performance”

    For the inaugural show of this newly launched two-floor gallery, exhibition curators Claire Staebler and Jelena Vesić present a three-year research project that has taken on various forms (exhibitions, discussions, and publications) on the topics of the crowd versus the individual, public and political space, and demonstration and performance. The modest budget and spatial dimensions of the gallery are reflected in the installation: On the ground floor, an appropriately regimental arrangement of monitors hosts video works by artists such as Johanna Billing, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,

  • Nevin Aladag, Raise the Roof, 2007, still from a color video, 9 minutes.
    picks December 25, 2008

    “Emergency Exit”

    This recently formed gallery functions as a nonprofit project space, as well as a commercial venue that represents several young Turkish artists. Its second exhibition, “Emergency Exit,” explores tensions between tradition, prejudice, and assumed roles in society though drawings, paintings, and sculptures by six artists. The outlined figures in Nilbar Güres’s drawings mingle the act of household cleaning with participation in unusual sporting events and sexual fantasies. While Güres infuses freedom of expression and imagination into the mundane habitual experience of home organizing, she also

  • Cock ‘n’ Bowl, 2008, pastel, acrylic, cloth, makeup, pencil, and pen, 59 1/16 x 118 1/8"
    picks August 08, 2008


    Invited to spend five days in Istanbul and in that time produce an exhibition and performance, the members of BADBAT, a London-based collective, created an improvisation of trust in one another and in music, lyrics, and tactility. Made up of painter Joanne Robertson, musician Alec Kronacker, fashion designer Rebecca Fitzmaurice, and artist Rachal Bradley (who was unable to be in Istanbul on this occasion), BADBAT is both a band and an artistic language that positions itself between folk and sophistication. On the show’s opening night, guitars, percussion instruments, and technical equipment

  • Polis, 2006, paper, tape, and frame, 8 1/4 x 11 13/16".
    picks April 15, 2008

    Isabel Schmiga

    This month, Masa (Table), a traveling glass-topped cabinet for commissioned art projects, has planted its legs at BAS, a space where artists’ books and prints are both produced and displayed. Responding to the vitrine as a site for scientific collections, Paris-based artist Isabel Schmiga presents Bandits, 2008, an assemblage of twenty delicate, insectlike paper models. Displayed in militaristic rows, each one cleanly pinned, both the mechanical imagery printed on their backs and the attendant labels hint at their arthropod genesis. Schmiga has often employed books from the “Observer’s” series

  • Full Moon, 2007, still from a color video with sound, 23 minutes.
    picks January 04, 2008

    Lamia Joreige

    Lamia Joreige’s exhibition is the first held in the Kettaneh Building, two floors of which were renovated expressly for the occasion and which might soon hold a more permanent gallery. In the airy, bright, and welcoming street-level area, Joreige presents her installation Nights and Days, 2006, in which short texts are coupled with photographs of urban and more rural landscapes in order to form a series of personal observations. While these prints cannot avoid illustrating traces of war and violence, they also, when read in relation to one another, suggest a variety of narratives involving love,