Selection being something we specialise in here at Selections, we like to ask those who are best-placed to make choices on our behalf. In this special feature, we ask gallerists at the Contemporary Istanbul 2018 to choose a single artwork from their booths and share the story behind it.




Almagul Menlibayeva, Homeland Guard, 2010, inkjet on archival paper, 107×71 cm


“Focus on Central Asia”, where Almagul Menlibayeva’s and Max Penson’s
photos portray the changes within 100 years in Central Asia.
Max Penson (1893 – 1959) was born in Belarus, graduated from the art school of
Vilnius and later moved to Kokand, a city in the Fergana region of eastern
Uzbekistan. Penson’s photographs document the economic transformation of
Uzbekistan, his adopted home, from a highly traditional feudal society into a
modern republic between 1920 and 1940. They provide unrivalled insights into a
time when the country was loosening its centuries-old traditions and was being
confronted by new political and social systems.
He was fluent in Uzbek language and this allowed him to create various subjects
from intimate to monumental: the education of women and children; the
construction of large-scale projects such as the Great Fergana Canal, and many
others. His photograph titled ‘Uzbek Madonna’ won the Grand Prize at the 1937
Universal Exhibition in Paris.
His work is enduring, as his memory is evergreen: even now, successful
exhibitions of his creations have been held in France, Swiss and Switzerland.
Works by Max Penson were included in most significant exhibition projects in
recent years, from ‘Propaganda and Dreams: Photographing the 1930s in USSR
and the US’ (The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC, 1999), Historiches
Museum der Stadt Wien, 2002, to ‘Modernism. Designing a New World’ (Victoria
and Albert Museum, London, 2006).Almagul Menlibayeva (b1969) is a Kazakhstan artist whom splits her time
between Kazakhstan and Germany. She is a contemporary artist and
photographer who works simultaneously in painting, graphic art, performances,
installations and videos. Translating various dimensions of beauty, décor, ritual
and spiritual practices into artistic expressions, her work focuses particularly on
women and their roles in pre-Soviet, pre-Islamic and even shamanistic and
dervish contexts.
Menlibayeva’s work addresses issues such as critical explorations of Soviet
modernity; social, economic; and political transformations in post-Soviet Central
Asia; and decolonial reimaginings of gender, environmental degradation, and
Eurasian nomadic and indigenous cosmologies and mythologies.
Menlibayeva’s art is widely acknowledged, receiving attention from such
institutions as MoMA,
New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Philadelphia Museum of Art,
and Grand Palais in Paris. Her artworks were also acquired by the Louis Vuitton
collection. Menlibayeva was awarded the prestigious Kino Der Kunst award in
2013 for her Transoxiana Dreams (2011).



NILBAR GÜRES, Das U-Boot, 2018, Mixed media on fabric ,92.7 x 165.1cm.



We selected this work for your online feature because this is a brand new new work we just received in inventory by this Nilbar Güres. The textures of the collaged fabrics glimmer on the dark background, which causes one to stop and dive into the work observing the scene depicted before us. The artist uses fabric in her work because textiles are a very traditional trade women are taught in her native country of Turkey. The artist refers to these domestic skills as “Women’s Sports.”

« Blindspot », the Relief we are presenting is İeva’s imaginary Beirut. There is no more East, no more West, there is one total, inclusive, all-encompassing city. The material we used, acrylic glass, placed at various spots on the image increases the idea that borders are, finally, imaginary, and essentially totally transparent.


no caption

Considering Ahmet Oran’s biography and knowing him personally, this painting, like many others by him, strikes us as a strong visual metaphor for his hometown Istanbul. With its historical layers, eventful past, and pulsating contemporary life, the city only permits those who rest in contemplation to understand its fabric of time and space.

Istanbul is a constant source of inspiration, full of an energetic potential to which the artist responds. These impressions are¬ arrested in the picture like a seismographic map. Oran works mostly at night, when the vibrating metropolis has cooled down and the time has come to engage in a dialogue with the canvas


John Aslanidis, Sonic Fragment No. 49, Oil and acrylic on canvas,2016, 12 x 16 inches.


For over twenty years, John Aslanidis has defined a space between sound and vision, through seeking to create “paintings you can hear and sound you can see”. Creating paintings of vibrational vibrancy that actively engage with the science and perception of sound, his work reflects a confluence of visual and aural stimuli that also mirrors the phenomena of synesthesia, where the senses become blended. We have chosen this piece because Aslanidis is able to visualize and portray an experience that is usually invisible, one can hear and feel it yet cannot see it, and through his paintings, he adds another dimension to sound by bringing it to light in another sense.


Maxim Wakultschik, Qatar, 2018 , Lacquer, wood on Kapa board, 140 × 105 × 9 cm.



” We wanted to provide a fresh approach to our returning participation at Contemporary Istanbul.
The work Qatar is from the newest series of Maxim Wakultschik, the most recent member to join our artist roster.
Comprised entirely of hand-painted wooden dowels, the work Qatar, with each point of view, offers an entirely new formation of colours and forms.
Wakultschik, through his works, challenges us to seek a new way of seeing, an alternative reality perhaps.
We are quite amazed by the Persian rug-inspired series, ‘Carpets.’ The meticulous hand placement of each dowel to create a whole image is reminiscent of the
process of carpet-making, which in itself is kind of a meditation form. The dazzling aesthetics of the work hopefully passes on the spirit of the artist to the viewer.”


Deniz Orkuş, AN / MOMENT, 2018,Mixed media, 40X40


Deniz Orkuş prepares her artworks with mixed media. She choised this art way when she was from 2000’ies. She research between life and dead. She likes to look her real life and travel to her an inner world.she graduated in MSU Faculty of finearts school of master degree.She has a 1.price awards Europian of Art Critics in florance,İtaly.There are many solo and mix Whitney Gallery, London Art Bienalie, Miami Art Basel, Scope Miami Beach, Scope Basel..She has been working Galeri Binyıl since 2000.


Hale Tenger, “Please Don’t Pass Me By” / I am petrified but you can sing, 2018. 19th c. Italian scale, porcelain water bird whistle, wood-fired stoneware trinket bird, electromagnet, timer, dimensions 28x59x25 cm.

In her recent sculpture, Tenger uses a 19th c. scale, a porcelain water bird whistle and a trinket bird as ready-mades, a characteristic gesture in her practice enabling a seemingly simplicity to deliver elaborate narratives. The birds oscillate smoothly on the trays of the scale. The quotation in the title is from a Leonard Cohen song.

Tenger wishes for a change in the world and says “We live like petrified forests engulfed in politics of disgrace and keep yearning for our voices to be heard, calling for justice for the human and for the ‘living world’ beyond human.”


João Vilhena, Fouille Courageuse, 2014, pierre noire on grey cardboard, 195,5 x 135 cm.

“My large format drawings are inspired by a will to failure. What does this paradox mean? At the beginning of my fascination with art, I felt an urge to paint that would remain unfulfilled. As time went by, I realized, I’m not a painter. These works on cardboard are my way to “deal with it”, to engage in an unfettered dialogue with Painting, via the language of drawing. Creating large format works with a pierre noire means the admission of failure, and, at the same time, to over come it.” – João Vilhena


Navid Nuur, Wiki Table, 2012-2013, metal, marble, magnet, mirror, hot-water bottle, vitamin D, medallion, aluminium wire, linking ring, 115 x 60 x 90 cm

Courtesy the artist and Plan B Cluj – Berlin
The work of Navid Nuur is an expansive sensorium, where the distances between magic and
science, between speaking through objects or materials and speaking in critical jargon, between
tactility and touch screens, the sleight of hand and the movement of electricity are enlighteningly
compressed. In the case of Wiki table, 2012-13, Nuur was astonished by the proliferation of
meanings attributed to the word ‘table’ on Wikipedia. A vintage locket floats above the marble
surface balanced by a powerful magnet. A hot water bottle and vitamin D inside the locket add
nurturing qualities to the work. An angled mirror on the underside of the sculpture gives new
dimensions and alternative perspectives on the surroundings works in the room and the visitors.


Víctor Castillo, Shame, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 80x80in/200x200cm Courtesy of Isabel Croxatto Galería.

The artwork that the director of the gallery, Isabel Croxatto, has selected is “Shame” by Victor Castillo, Chilean artist currently living in Los Angeles, California. It’s a contemporary chronicle, a tragicomic portrait of the world today. This particular piece, Shame, is part of Victor Castillo’s series The Big Dream, where he exposes, from an ironic and sarcastic point of view, the clash of the American Dream and Capitalism. I think it’s important not only to present beauty but to bring artwork that makes us think about the world we are inheriting to new generations and to keep us in mind –through art– that sometimes everything is an illusion.


İhsan Oturmak, 2018, Sleep, Oil on canvas, 75 x 85 cm



We chose this particular artwork because it simply represents the oeuvre of Ihsan Oturmak both technically and theoretically. The pattern which is created by repeating human figures is a signature of the artist. The work explores a connection between sleep, death, and religion. Architecture is also another main element of the artist’s production. In his works, the artist mostly uses public areas as setting such as schools, streets, and mosques where he observes the power relationships of the society.


RADENKO MILAK, Democratic National Convention (1960), From the Series “So close and yet so far” Unframed, 2014, 50 x 35.8 cm ,With the courtesy of artist and L’Agance a Paris

Bosnian artist born in 1980, Radenko Milak has done this watercolor as a part of the exhibiton in 2014 “So close and yet so far”. He did a series of works for the exhibiton which narrates stories that failed or were diverted from their original plans. From anecdotes to History, we often take the wrong track, but this can only be understood if we look into the greater memory of things. Here, the eye of the painter is no longer a mere witness of his century but reveals the aesthetic ties that subterraneously bind representations of history together. The use of the unique technique of black and white watercolor, which allows no repentance, is not trivial and does not stem from the desire to reproduce images, but rather, to reinterpret them somewhere in-between effacement and highlighting. This work shows an image of Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy’s full acceptance speech at the 1960 Democratic National Convention at the Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California. The speech later became known as “The New Frontier.” When I look at this megnificient watercolor I can not keep myself from thinking that if all of history is made up of both prophesies and tragedies, it seems that time usually follows its course, and inevitably starting anew is the most beautiful outcome possible.


Wolfgang STILLER,  ‘Matchbox’, 160 x 60 x 40 cm 

As simple as they may look, these Matchsticks lying in their Matchbox raise a great deal of questioning from viewers whenever they are exhibited: questioning on the meaning of the artwork, questioning on the technique used, questioning on the identity of the artist. Regarding the technique, Wolfgang Stiller uses an artisanal process of creation, partly based on chance. There might be some recurring interpretations that the artist agrees with but he himself said concerning the meaning: « Every new space has its own character and asks for a different approach.


Hallederiz İnş, Taşı Toprağı (paved with gold), 2018, Mixed Media, 20x16x6 cm.

The interlocking pavement stone tissue that was previously widely used only in Istanbul and then covered all Anatolian cities is one of the cheapest public service that can be carried to the farthest villages with a comparably very cheap labor force.

This construction element includes all the features of our national construction practice of creating visibly brilliant but with poor quality infrastructures with a fast, easy and unskilled workforce. Hallederiz İnş. values it with a currency that is also an important part of the same cultural.

Bengisu Bayrak, Tracey and Charles, 2014, Oil on canvas, 120x120cm

Playing with our perception of ‘what is real’ and ‘what is fake’, Bengisu Bayrak’s works stand on a zone in which ‘the real’ and ‘the fake’ overlap and create an unclarity in the mind of viewers. Since 2001, she has been working on this perception through altering movie characters and plots to create fake realities. In this series of work Bengisu Bayrak is questioning the dynamics of the art world mostly the economies behind it.


Behrang Samadzadegan, Hard Boiled Wonderland, Watercolor on Hahnemühle Paper, 97×107 cm, 2016

Mohsen gallery is a think tank for ambitious and critically engaging experiences of artists. Hence, experimentation is at the core of what we do. We provide a laboratory that encourages artists to test, challenge and potentially shift perspectives. As for the example of our mission, we represent Behrang Samadzadegan who presents his interpretations of Iran’s political history meanwhile challenging advantages and disadvantages of terms such as aesthetics, imagery, and history. He disobeys and creates. Behrang believes that when aesthetics come into play, historical facts will vanish. Ergo, similar to intertwined qualities of watercolor, the events intermix in his paintings.


Aldo Alcota (Chile), Untitled , 2017 , Mixed media on paper , 29 x 36,5 cm , Copyright: Perve Galeria, 2018.

Painting is a creative and very important act for the Chilean artist Aldo Alcota, born in 1976. It is a way of reinventing the world around him. Passionate about the Surrealism, the author is recognized by his distinctive drawings and paintings full of colors and unique characters that escape the limits of daily life. This artwork presented at Contemporary Istanbul confirms the richness of Aldo Alcota’s imaginary, inhabited by grotesque beings, with a half human and half animal asymmetric forms. According to the author, despite the humor and the irony, his artistic creation is not far from the reality we are experiencing, marked by fragmentation and unexpected events of everyday life.


Erol Eskici, Karswelt Interior, (2017), Oil on canvas, 200 x 200 cm

Erol Eskici’s “Karswelt Interior” (2017) stands as one of the center pieces of SANATORIUM’s CI’18 booth (A1 – 119). “Karstwelt” series consists of a dialectical composition that brings together a number of indicators from fields that are in a forced, oppo-site and indirect relationship; such as geology, chemistry and architecture. In this dark and picturesque landscape, as home sometimes continues its existence as an unreachable ruin, at other times, it functions as a shelter. After his first solo show Nostomonia (2015) in SANATORIUM, Erol moved to Germany. “Karstwelt” series influenced by his new location that allows him to see the political landscape from a newer perspective. As well as making a connection within the works in SANATORIUM’s booth, “Karswelt Interior” shows a pathway to his upcoming solo show in the gallery which will be held in December, 201


Ioan Sbârciu,Twilight (Don Quijote series), 2017,mixed media, 200 x 100 cm

“Don Quijote is a state of mind and spirit.
We are all Don Quijote, one way or another, trying to change the world or ourselves, spending a lifetime in search of the feeling of the absolute state of grace.
Twilight is about the search of the modern man, lost in a meaningless world, looking for salvation.
Twilight is about courage – which in Ioan Sbarciu’s case was brought by age / the collected human experience and teaching – as a venture deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of his own practice, on paths that sometimes lead to the darkest places on the personal map, shrouded in twilight, but most often to bright places marked by tension and pictorial paradoxes.”


Tarık Töre, Mind Puzzle II, 2018

Playing with our perception of time, space and scale, Töre’s recent painting offer a balance between an apparent turmoil on one hand and a great amount of hope on the other. By sampling elements from separate timelines in a single body of work, he constructs a personal mythology. It’s neither a paradise nor a promised land. Töre had thoughts about making a mistake and trying to catch a certain aesthetic in the painting. If you’re graduated from academia, the painting has a lot of rules. It’s always possible to break the rules, but at that time, you have to act according to new rules: Freedom. “Mind Puzzle II” is a work that he’s decided to do whatever he wants, like the way the mind naturally works. In his stream-of-consciousness style Töre wanted to have a painting that comes to mind continuously and then disappears, without the aesthetic anxiety of thoughts.


I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

During Contemporary Istanbul, we will show websites as artworks by Harm van den Dorpel, Constant Dullaart, Jan Robert Leegte and Rafaël Rozendaal. Internet art offers a whole range of new possibilities: for instance, Rozendaals works reach a very large audience with over 50 million hits a year. But with the new discipline, too, new questions arise, especially with regard to more traditional forms of art. This is why we love exhibiting these works at art fairs and show people the possibilities of collecting this relatively new type of art


Salustiano , Territorio de ternura, Marina con pistola negro, 2018. Acrylic resin on cotton canvas,130 cm diameter

From the beginnings of my work as an artist I made the decision to tell the bright side of life. It wasn’t because pain (your own or somebody else’s) left me indifferent but the other way around. So consciously and determined, without discouragement, I decided to exclusively portrait the bright side of things.
In this hostile world, each one of us aims to shelter somewhere “sacred” and I found painting so that I could build a world apart, a delimited territory, a territory that in my mind was a physical space, not a state of the soul.
I have titled my last collection TENDERNESS TERRITORY and on it there are girls holding guns and knives. Even if this could seem a nonsense, it is just the position that I choose to take in a symbolic territory. Just like the Genesis’ God armed his angels with fire swords to protect the Garden of Eden, my army of warrior girls, just like those angels, defend my tenderness territory, my Garden of Eden, at gunpoint.