The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), a non-profit foundation focused on the arts, has moved into a wonderful new home, the restored Art Nouveau Deniz Palas in Şişhane. Since its founding in 1973, IKSV has launched five regular festivals focusing on film, jazz, theater, music and art as well as organized a Turkish pavilion at the Venice Biennale and hosted such international artists as the Alvin Ailey dance company and Santana in Istanbul. Now, in its larger home in an historic building, IKSV plans to have regular exhibits and salons. There is also IKSV Design gift shop with an eclectic mix of objects for art aficionados and a popular rooftop restaurant, X.
The Istanbul Modern museum, housed in a former customs warehouse by the Bosporus, is an important stop for those interested in 20th-century Turkish art. It also has good international exhibits. Have lunch at the wonderful Istanbul Modern Cafe.
Museum of Innocence
The Nobel Prize–winning author Orhan Pamuk wrote his work The Museum of Innocence about a fictional collection of items representing a tumultuous love affair. It wasn’t until a few years after publishing the book that he funded and built the institution in 2012. It is located in a townhouse in the Beyoglu area and makes for a perfect stop. It’s highly recommended to read the book before a visit.
Art consultant Isabella Icoz, who is based in Istanbul recommends her favorite museum in the city: “My favorite is the Pera Museum. In my opinion, it has done the best job of bringing international art to Istanbul. Previous exhibits have included Jean Dubuffet, Henri Cartier Bresson, Rembrandt and most recently Josef Koudelka. Turkish people, especially school children, are often seeing these works for the first time.”
This contemporary art gallery promotes innovative works by Turkish and international artists. Pi is one of the headliners of the annual Istanbul Contemporary Art Fair.