In preparation of its 10th edition, Contemporary Istanbul
has taken on pre-eminent international curator, art critic, and historian, Marc-Olivier Wahler, as its Artistic Advisor.
Currently Wahler is the founder and director of Chalet Society, Paris, an exhibition space that goes beyond the white box and delves into ideas, education, creation, and collection all in a community space. Previously, in 1995 he co-founded CAN Centre dart Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and stood as its director until 2000, exhibiting artists during his tenure like Jonathan Monk, Franz West, Mike Kelley, Ugo Rondinone, and Paul McCarthy. In 2000 until 2006 Wahler was at the helm of the Swiss Institute in New York, curating large scale exhibitions with artists, including Urs Fischer, Takashi Murakami, Jim Shaw, and Aleksandra Mir. And, from 2006, until he founded the Chalet Society in 2012, Wahler was the director of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and was the founding editor of Palais/ Magazine. Under his directorship there, the Palais de Tokyo was regarded as Paris best champion of emerging talent.
Wahler's role as Artistic Advisor for the 10th Contemporary Istanbul will fortify the fairs international appeal, as he will be advising artistic side of the fair, on curatorial and educational matters. His goal with the Chalet Society is for poetic consciousness, and he will no doubt bring a similar approach to Contemporary Istanbuls 10th edition.
Last year, Contemporary Istanbul exhibited 108 galleries from 23 countries, and brought in 80,000 visitors including museum groups like the Members of Royal Academy of Arts, the Palais de Tokyo, the Albertina Museum, Delfina Foundation, the Guggenheim Circle Venice, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Sothebys Preferred. Of a total of USD $ 102 million dollars-worth of art on view, 74% was sold.
A decade ago, Turkeys art market began a steady and markedly impressive rise in the international art scene---in no small part due to the inception of Contemporary Istanbul in 2006, the first art fair in Turkey. Now approaching its 10th edition, the fairs hometown, Istanbul, remains the enticing East meets West city whose arts are flourishing and garnering international attention and appeal, with Contemporary Istanbul as its prime ambassador.
An ambassador of not only contemporary Turkish artists and galleries, Contemporary Istanbul has become ever more international over the past ten years. The fair was recently ranked by Skates Art Market Research in New York as the fifth most visited art fair in the world, (only after fairs like ARCO Madrid, Armory Show in New York, Art Basel Miami Beach, FIAC, and Art Basel), and the second most visited art fair in frontier art markets.