Chapter 9: Special Features

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.

— Edgar Degas

Beyond the general overview and exploration of Turkish contemporary art, this chapter presents special features that highlight specific facets of the art landscape. Through in-depth artist profiles, a guide for art enthusiasts visiting Turkey, and a comprehensive resource list, this section offers readers a deeper dive into the vibrant world of Turkish artistic expression.

Profiles: In-depth Features on Key Contemporary Artists

Canan Tolon: Dive into the abstract landscapes of Tolon, where time, memory, and space coalesce, reflecting both personal experiences and broader sociopolitical narratives.

  • Ebru Uygun: Explore Uygun's layered canvases, where traditional Turkish marbling (ebru) meets contemporary techniques, bridging the ancient with the modern.
  • Halil Altındere: Journey through the provocative works of Altındere, whose multimedia creations often challenge political and social norms, earning both acclaim and critique.
  • Elvan Alpay: Delve into Alpay's dreamy, surreal landscapes which weave together mythological references with personal symbols, offering viewers an otherworldly experience.

Visiting Turkey: An Art Lover’s Guide to Galleries, Museums, and Art Events


  • Galleries: Arter, Dirimart, Galerist.
  • Museums: Istanbul Modern, Pera Museum, Sakıp Sabancı Museum.
  • Events: Istanbul Biennial, Contemporary Istanbul.


  • Galleries: CerModern, Gallery Nev Ankara.
  • Museums: State Art and Sculpture Museum.
  • Events: Ankara International Film Festival.


  • Galleries: Galeri A, K2 Contemporary Art Center.
  • Museums: Arkas Art Center.
  • Events: International Izmir Art Biennial.
  • Resources and References: Further Readings and Exploration



  • "Art in Modern Turkey: The Republican Period" by Belkıs Balpınar and Ayla Ersoy
  • "Ottoman Inspired Art in Modern Turkey" by Serhan Ada and Vasıf Kortun.


  • "Brushes with the East: An Artistic Evolution" by Ayşegül Sönmez.
  • "Reflections: Modern Tales of an Ancient City" focusing on Istanbul's art scene.

Online Platforms

  • Sanatatak: A comprehensive portal offering news, interviews, and features on Turkish art and artists.
  • Collectorspace: An online platform dedicated to Turkish art collectors, offering insights into private collections and the stories behind them.

This chapter aims to provide readers with a holistic understanding of Turkish contemporary art, not just through broad strokes but through intricate details, individual stories, and practical resources. As one navigates the rich world of Turkish art, these features serve as guiding stars, illuminating the vast canvas of creativity and expression.