Istanbul Modern, Türkiye’s first museum of modern and contemporary art and located on the Karaköy waterfront, officially opens to the public later this year. Designed by Renzo Piano and spanning nearly 35,000 square feet, the space will serve as a dynamic space for a range of temporary exhibits, film screenings, interdisciplinary educational programs and publicly accessible art collections.
Artwork from 1945 onward will appear in the new museum, with both local and international artists featured. Inspired by the waters of the Bosporus and its reflections of light, the design of the building pays homage to its location, a site used as a harbor for more than 1,000 years. The outline of the museum evokes ships of various sizes traveling back and forth between Asia and Europe. A creature of the sea appearing to leap from the Bosporus to shore is also integrated into the outline.
The first floor is dedicated to a photography gallery, pop-up gallery, event spaces, educational rooms and staff offices. The museum also features a restaurant, slated to sit on the first floor, as well, overlooking the Bosporus and Historical Peninsula from an outdoor terrace. On the second floor, the museum’s permanent collection and main temporary exhibition gallery await. The permanent collection will include a panorama of modern and contemporary art from across Türkiye.
The museum also includes a 156-seat auditorium and a viewing terrace at the top of the building, allowing guests to peer into a shallow reflection pool covering the entire roof. On this terrace, visitors will also enjoy 360-degree views of the Bosporus and the city. The façade of the museum sees 3-D-formed aluminum panels that change over the course of the day as the sun traverses the sky. The result is an iridescent display of fish scales.
The museum will open with five new exhibitions, including Floating Islands, Istanbul Modern’s most comprehensive collection exhibition to date with more than 280 works by 110 artists. Most of the works in this selection will be displayed for the first time ever. The first section of the permanent gallery will focus on art in Türkiye from 1945 to the 2000s, in chronological order.
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