ARTER: the newest location on İstanbul’s art map

İstiklal Street, already crammed with art galleries, theaters and the like, serving as the heart of artistic activities in İstanbul, gained yet another art space over the weekend. Called ARTER-Space for Art, the new contemporary art center was established by the İstanbul-based Vehbi Koç Foundation (VKV). ARTER’s main objective is to put forward novel ideas for art. It should be noted that ARTER is not designed as a museum, and the VKV does not have the intention to turn it into one in the future. Instead, the venue, inaugurated following a restoration period that lasted some three years, will serve as a “laboratory” for a museum complex the VKV is planning to establish in the future.

One of the main objectives of ARTER, apart from serving as an exhibition space for contemporary art, is to “encourage and support the production of new artistic products and serve as a platform that will offer more visibility to artists and their works.” VKV General Director Erdal Yıldırım and ARTER Exhibitions Drector Emre Baykal say they are pleased to be offering a new contemporary art space for İstanbul.

ARTER’s opening exhibition, which went on public display on Saturday, is aptly titled “Starter.” Curated by René Block, the show features a selection from the contemporary art collection of the VKV. Spread over three floors of the four-story ARTER, “Starter” features over 160 works of art by 87 artists from Turkey and abroad, a collection that chronicles modern art from the 1960s to the present day.

Running through Sept. 19, “Starter” brings together recent works by Adel Abidin, Halil Altındere, Nevin Aladağ, Maja Bajevic, Elina Brotherus, Cevdet Erek, Ebru Özseçen and Michael Sailstorfer, as well as a selection by pioneers of contemporary and conceptual art from Turkey and around the world, including Joseph Beuys, John Cage, Rebecca Horn, Nam June Paik, Cengiz Çekil, Ayşe Erkmen and Gülsün Karamustafa.

The exhibitions in ARTER will also feature side events such as panel discussions, seminars, workshops and conferences by artists. The center will also host international art exhibitions in the future. Admission is free of charge. Visiting hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 12 p.m.-8 p.m. from Friday through Sunday. Website:

Musa İğrek, İstanbul

Today's Zaman