Explore Istanbul’s newest and largest art gallery

Istanbul’s contemporary art scene is experiencing something of a boom. Turkey’s largest and most dynamic city has become a global art hub, with standout museums (Istanbul Modern, SALT and ARTER), various art fairs and dozens of independent art galleries, including Kerimcan Guleryuz’s The Empire Project and Yesim Turanli’s Pi Artworks.

Riding the city’s artistic wave, venerable Turkish art gallery Dirimart opened a second locale on May 25, in the Dolapdere area. At 1,000 square meters, the new gallery is the largest commercial space of its kind in the entire country. Designed by New York-based Studio MDA, the new venue features various attractions, including an outdoor sculpture garden.


In the 14 years since its founding, Dirimart has functioned as a pioneer on the local art scene, introducing such artists as Franz Ackermann, Peter Zimmermann, Sarah Morris, Ghada Amer and Shirin Neshat to a Turkish audience that’s grown increasingly fond of foreign artists. The new gallery’s inaugural group exhibit, titled “Surface and Beyond,” focuses on works by Turkish as well as international artists, including Bernard Frize, Eva Rothschild, Isaac Julien and Tomás Saraceno, among others. Artworks are presented in a variety of media – painting, sculpture, film – but all invite the viewer on a sensory journey beyond the surface, using orientalist traditions and decorative elements to explore political, social and religious issues.

“Surface and Beyond” runs until July 30 at the new Dirimart gallery.