Modern Art Museum Modern Art Museum

Modern Art Museum

The modern art gallery is housed in an old shipping warehouse. No photos are allowed, so i have had to check the camera in to a locker. But i did get a student ticket and an audio guide for 6lira, about £2.50.

The gallery is good, large and airy and the audio guide just covers certain paintings and not in too much depth, unlike the British museum which rambles on like a crazy person. The top floor is the permanent exhibition, with the temporary shows downstairs.

One interesting area is the "Turkish primitives" it was a school of artists who produced all their art by copying photographs, giving very flat, unusual looking pieces. It was done because at the time there was a huge market for western style art in the Ottoman Empire. To own some was to appear worldly and sophisticated. The irony being, the mass produced work was looked down on by western artists of the time as it was clearly a copy of a photograph rather than something created.

Hamit Gorele has painted some fascinating neo-modern pictures, they are almost comic book. But so very expressive. One of the most prolific Turkish painters, who lived for 90 years, 1901-1991 was Fahrelnissa Zeid who produced a range of impressionist pieces, some awesome like Lost horizons, some not so much like third class passengers.

Gungor Taner's enigma, 1996 is stunning, full of live. Vibrant massive acrylic green canvass with red slashes! 

Utku Varlik - Je m'avance Masque - 1996, haunting, images of faces, sleeping woman, cracked statue, golden child, fetus. They images stayed with me.

Irfan Onurmen 2002, a mixed media piece, man and a women in a bedroom, made of 5 layers of cut gauze. Its like seeing their silhouette at night, very, very cool! This is where art is interesting though, i loved it and felt it was one of the best pieces here. But i watched a range of people glance at it and walk by....

The pictures are arranged thematically rather than by artist, and when you get to the self portraits towards the end it is interesting how often you know who the artist is, from exposure to their style through the museum. Zeid seem herself almost vampiric, with striking green eyes, and two other artists leapt from the canvass as their style was so distinctive, and impossible for me to describe (hence no mention of them from me. Come here and look around and you will know)

The stairs down are metal plates supported by bolts and chains with a broken glass box about them. It is seriously industrial and urban decay... It is called stairway to hell, and is a form of radical feminist vandalism challenging the dehumanising identification of women with sleek modernist objects

The downstairs is "design cities" an exploration of how cities have driven forward change over the last 150 years... Not really my thing, but too much interior design, lots of old knickknacks... But they do have mint condition Ford Thunderbird and a 2CV! (Thunderbird is cooler...) generally though its chairs and glasses that were displayed at world’s fairs. Not terribly cool... It’s too much design too little passion.

they also have an exhibit where a group of young students were given Camera Obscura and told to photograph monumental structures with them. Some are very good!