Sarkis: Site / Istanbul Museum of Modern Art

Two days before the opening of the 11th Istanbul Biennial, the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art – or Istanbul Modern – held the opening reception for the exhibition “Site”, a show that gives an overview of Istanbul-born artist Sarkis’ work. Sarkis is one of the most important Turkish artists. Site points to all the stages that Sarkis’ career has gone through in the course of half a century. In this show, Sarkis reconsiders the different periods of his art together for the first time in an attempt to reinterpret and reconstruct them.

Originally a painter, Sarkis soon expanded the focus of his work to include sculpture as well as audiovisual installations. He participated in Harald Szeemann’s famous exhibition “When Attitudes Become Form” at Kunsthalle Bern in 1969. He has also taken part in Documenta VI (1977) and VII (1982), the Venice Biennale (1993), and several Istanbul Biennials (1987, 1989, 1995, and 2007). He will be taking part in this years Lyon Biennial. In 2010 the artist will be holding two major exhibitions: one at the Georges Pompidou Center for the Contemporary Arts in Paris and one at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Geneva.

Sarkis was born as Sarkis Zabunyan in 1938. He studied at the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts (now Mimar Sinan University). Sarkis has been living and working in Paris since 1964.

On display in “Site” is a rich selection of Sarkis’s works from his own studio and from such leading art museums and institutions as Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg, Surp Pırgiç Ermeni Hastanesi Müzesi Istanbul, and Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt. Site runs until January 10, 2010.

During the course of the exhibition, there will be an extensive program of activities organized by artist Sarkis that complement the works on display. These activities will be taking place in the public spaces of Istanbul Modern.

Sarkis: Site at Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. Opening reception, September 10, 2009.

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