First edition of ArtInternational.

In Events and Exhibitions / October 3, 2013

With 4-5,000 visitors on the preview day a buzzing atmosphere has pervaded the exhibition floor throughout the fair, with the spacious architectural layout generating an ideal atmosphere for a buying market. The fair has been heralded as an overwhelming success by exhibitors, visitors and stakeholders alike.

With a wide-ranging Talks Programme, site-specific Artistic Programme and outdoor sculpture section, ‘By the Waterside’, ArtInternational Istanbul offered international and local visitors unrivalled access to the global contemporary art scene in a city which has no other comparable offering and is situated as a natural gateway between East and West. Sale highlights include Francesco Vezzoli’s, Portrait of Sophia Loren as the Muse of Antiquity (After De Chirico) 2013, (€250,000) at Yvon Lambert and Anish Kapoor’s Untitled, 2011, alabaster that sold for £850,000. Across the aisle from Lisson Gallery, Dutch gallery Lumen Travo sold a work by the Nigerian artist Otobong Nkanga, bought by a French collector who’d first seen the piece in Dubai until buying here in Istanbul, illustrating the full geographic scope and international appeal that ArtInternational commands.

Stefan Andersson, Director and owner of Swedish Galleri Andersson/Sandström said: “Galleri Andersson/ Sandström exhibit at art fairs all over the world and we have never found the people to be so helpful and friendly. The quality of interest and collectors at ArtInternational is impressively high, and we have had sales and strong interest, not just during the Vernissage, but consistently throughout the fair.”

Founder and Director of Pi Artworks, Yeşim Turanlı, who is soon to open the first ever international Turkish gallery in London later this year, commented “ArtInternational has been very successful bringing out both the strength and charm of Istanbul. From the collectors brunch through to the end of the fair, the venue has been full. There has been a very smooth flow, perfectly designed for comfortable viewing. The VIP Programme has also been quite unique, and most importantly the audience have proved to be extremely engaged. Both international and local collectors are present. We have had sales both with our local collectors and to new international collectors from London, central Europe and New York”

Arik Levy, RockGrowth RG5, 2011. Mirror-polished stainless steel, 129 x 117 x 83cm. Courtesy the artist and Galerist, Istanbul
Arik Levy, RockGrowth RG5, 2011. Mirror-polished stainless steel, 129 x 117 x 83cm. Courtesy the artist and Galerist, Istanbul

And Greg Hilty, Curatorial Director, Lisson Gallery observed “The fair had tremendous energy on its opening day and we were pleased to welcome existing and prospective clients from Turkey and the wider region. Many had joined us the night before for a tour of Anish Kapoor’s exhibition at the Sakip Sabanci Museum, so there was obvious interest in Kapoor – but also Opie, Rana, Martin, Abramovic and indeed the full range of artists we’ve brought to Istanbul.” From the ‘Alternatives’ non-profit section of the fair, Mari Spirito, Founding Director of Protocinema said: “The Alternatives section is a dynamic and critical intervention that is important not only for collectors experiencing this for the first time, but also for the artists and arts professionals already participating. We are hugely grateful for the platform that ArtInternational has created for this work.“

Edward Gibbs, Senior Director, Head of Department Middle East and India, Sotheby’s said: “The quality at the first edition of ArtInternational is high. The mix of international and local participants, both gallerists and collectors, the range of work on view and the setting on the Golden Horn makes it a pleasure to visit.”

Museum groups who attended the fair included representatives from Tate Modern, London; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, Rome (Macro); Centre Pompidou, Paris; La Maison Rouge – Fondation Antonie de Galbert, Paris and the Royal Academy of Arts, London.

International collectors who attended the fair included Lekha and Anupam Poddar, Nicola and Beatrice Bulgari, Hanan Sayed Worrell, HH Prince Fahad bin Bandar al Saud, Alistair Hicks, Ramin Salsali, Zaki Nusseibeh, Dan Cameron, Nanette Connelly, William and Lavina Lim, the Thun Hohensteins and Sheikha Hoor al-Qasimi; whilst some of the Turkish collectors in attendance included Bulent Eczacibasi (Istanbul Modern), Ahmet Kocabiyik (Borusan) Guler and Sevil Sabanci (Sabanci Museum), Can and Sevda Elgiz (Elgiz Museum), Fusun and Faruk Eczacibasi (SAHA), Cigdem Simavi, Caroline Koç, Omer Koç and Melih Ferlerli (Arter), Banu Carmikli, Oner Kocabeyoglu, Tansa Mermerci and Atilla & Billur Tacir.

“We were delighted not only by the response of the Turkish collectors who were impressed by the calibre of the booth presentations, but also that ArtInternational was able to connect a significant number of new international collectors with the Turkish arts community. We have laid strong foundations for the future and look forward to Istanbul’s next edition of ArtInternational in 2014” said Dyala Nusseibeh, Fair Director, ArtInternational

Sandy Angus, co-founder of ArtInternational felt that “the success of ArtInternational was carried by the strength of our galleries who created quality in both their works and presentation. This had a huge impact on collector sales, and contributed to the overwhelmingly positive response to this inaugural edition of the fair. Having worked on well over 20 international art fairs over the past 30 years, I have never received so much positive feedback and from such appreciative visitors.”

ArtInternational is a new contemporary art fair in Istanbul featuring international galleries from Turkey, the Middle East, US and Europe. The second edition of ArtInternational will take place from 25-28 September 2014. Please check the website for new information and updates


For all media enquiries please contact:

UK, London: Annabel Potter, Flint Public Relations | 0044 (0)203 463 2080

Turkey, Istanbul: Michael Hornsby, Flint Public Relations | 0090 (531) 594 8479


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