September is approaching with a whole range of exhibitions for art lovers (see our Agenda to see what’s coming). But before we delve into fall, here are our picks for the soon-to-end summer exhibitions:
Segment #2: Selections from Contemporary Artists – Ends September 2
Boasting some of the biggest names of contemporary art, this group exhibition at Borusan Contemporary highlights provocative and inventive interpretations of the genre. Works by artists Robert Maplethorpe, Shirley Shor, and Chul Hyun Ahn were selected from the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection, chosen for their mind-bending content. The exhibit showcases Sol LeWitt, an American artist considered to be the father of conceptual art. LeWitt’s insistence on ideas as art, process as art, bucked the stylistic hegemony of abstract expressionism in 1960s-era New York. The artist’s written notes, displayed along with his geometric, minimalist structures, are as constitutive of “art” as the three-dimensional shapes and canvasses. By consecrating the scribble, the set-back, and the thought, LeWitt revolutionized the act of creation. See how this radical and his generic fellows created art history.
4to2floors – Ends September 2
Although his geometric patterns, neon palette, and minimalist aesthetics evoke the days of big hair, lycra, and global bi-polarity, Gerwald Rockenschaub’s 1980s nostalgia is thoroughly contemporary. For his Turkish debut, the Australian Neo-Geo artist has occupied the second and fourth floors of Borusan Contemporary with his retro revival. Nearly 50 works of sculpture, canvas, and installation mimic the motifs of yesteryear, using industrial materials like PVC and plexiglass to raise alienating and abstract architectures. Taking on a more recent past, Rockenschaub applies a “micro-sampling” technique to the media and advertising tropes of the new millennium, rendering the familiar utterly strange. 4to2floors is a journey through the past, realized through both massive and minute simplicities.
Katharina Grosse: Can You Spell Mixing – Ends September 3
Berlin-based conceptual artist Katharina Grosse’s first exhibition in Istanbul, entitled Can You Spell Mixing, exhibited at Dirimart Art Gallery, showcases her selected paintings. Grosse’s medium is painting and installations with which she manipulates light and shadows to produce abstruse visual interpretations that have carried the art form to a new level. Using such ingredients as mud, randomly gathered objects, plastics, and industrial grade paint guns among others, Grosse’s work takes on a dilapidated facade that is then surrounded by a sheen and vibrancy that sometimes includes painting the windows, walls, and ceiling of the actual gallery. The artist is always interested in the unconventional, both in the materials used and the end product, finding inspiration in the ocean licked surface of a surfboard as well as the immediacy of graffiti. (For a full review of the exhibition, click here.)
Artists’ Exhibition Celebrates John Cage – Ends September 5
Kuad Gallery in Akaretler is displaying another set of works celebrating the 100th birthday of John Cage, accepted as one of the most exceptional composers of the 20th century. Taking inspiration from Cage’s life of diverse auditory experimentation, artists from different disciplines will come together for the first time under one roof. Included are the sound installations of Michael Snow previously displayed in Centre Pompidou, Teoman Madra’s chiaroscuros from the 1960s, and an old exercise video by Tal Dans among other works of the “avant-garde.” The last days of the exhibition, which will run between July 18 and September 5, will host various events and performances as well as a mini concert at midnight on 4-5 September.