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From the Beginning: Yapı Kredi Culture Centre Exhibitions

1988 230 Hoca Ali Rıza drawings, oil paintings and watercolours in the Yapı Kredi Collection go on show for the first time

1990 İbrahim Safi portraits of famous Turkish composers in the Yapı Kredi Collection.

1992 The Yapı Kredi Vedat Nedim Tör Museum opens. Exhibitions and activities begin at three halls at the Yapı Kredi Kâzım Taşkent Art Gallery, the Yapı Kredi Vedat Nedim Tör Museum and the Sermet Çifter Library. The works of Namık İsmail, İbrahim Çallı, Avni Lifij, Hikmet Onat, Halil Paşa, Nazmi Ziya, Sami Yetik, and Hoca Ali Rıza are exhibited between 1992 and 2005, and the accompanying books -another first in Turkey- become a valuable resource for auctions and collectors. Books accompany the numerous Tuesday Meetings talks held between 1992 and 2002 at the Sermet Çifter Hall.

1994 "Power and Skill, The Two Faces of Rule: Heads and Tails", the two-year exhibition of Early Islamic States, Principalities Period, Seljuk and Ottoman Coins opens to mark the 50th anniversary of the foundation of Yapı Kredi. A Burhan Uygur retrospective -accompanied by a comprehensive book- celebrates the work of this master of the colour white.

1994 "Power and Skill, The Two Faces of Rule: Heads and Tails", the two-year exhibition of Early Islamic States, Principalities Period, Seljuk and Ottoman Coins opens to mark the 50th anniversary of the foundation of Yapı Kredi. A Burhan Uygur retrospective -accompanied by a comprehensive book- celebrates the work of this master of the colour white.

1995 "100 Years of Cinema / Cinema Stamps". As the world marks a centenary of cinema, we join in with our cinema stamps exhibition. "Fikret Mualla Paintings": the first extensive show of this colourful artist trapped in a gloomy life.

1996 The history of an indispensable part of our culture is traced in "Prayer Beads". Hailed for turning the artists’ gaze upon their own selves "Self-Portraits in Turkish Painting", tempts collectors into this genre. "Henri Prost: Urban Concepts, Creating the City" displays the urban plans drawn by Henri Prost in 1936 upon an invitation by Atatürk. Leading Mübin Orhon collectors Robert and Lisa Sainsbury showcase the works of this major artist of the Paris school. Four high profile Mehmet Güleryüz exhibitions are staged between 1996 and 2007.

1997 "Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Glass: traditional ‘under glass’ painting. To and Fro in the Space in Between" is the first Ömer Uluç show; his paintings, sculptures and drawings are to be exhibited three more times in the centre, in 1999, 2003 and 2006.

1998 "The Happy People Photographic Studio: Cameras and Photographs in the First Century of Turkish Photography" chronicles Turkish photography with historic cameras and family shots.

1999 "One Thousand Purple Years in the Mediterranean", the Yapı Kredi Collection Byzantine coins exhibition, is the first ever exhibition held in Turkey on the Byzantine Empire. "Artists’ Portraits" showing painters as seen by their peers inspires collectors just as the "Artists’ Self-Portraits" had done previously. Returning to Istanbul from the National Gallery for the first time for "The Painter, The Sultan and His Portrait", Mehmed II’s portrait painted by Bellini attracts unbelievable crowds. All these exhibitions are supported by talks and panel discussions featuring esteemed participants.

2000 "Portraits of the World: Old Ottoman and World Maps"

2001 "Pleasure Hidden in the Bean showcases" Turkish coffee culture in all its facets. "From Boğazköy to Karatepe: Hittitology and the Discovery of the Hittite World" reveals for the first time in Turkey the findings of excavations done from the early 19th century through to the 1950s: Hittite artefacts, photographs taken at the site, excavation reports, documents and objects. "Aladdin’s Lamp" is another first illuminating a period under Alâeddin Keykubad and the art of the Anatolian Seljuks. That it is possible to curate an exclusive exhibition of drawings is proven by "Line and Hands" with drawings by major artists from Osman Hamdi Bey through to our time. "Andy Warhol, His Life and Art" curated by the Andy Warhol Museum brings his major works to Istanbul for the first time. Fahrelnisa, Aliye and Füreya, the three artists of the Şakir Pasha family, are shown under the title, "Three in a Row". Collectors are enlightened on watercolours in "Water Paintings" by leading Turkish artists from Süleyman Seyyid onwards.

2002 "The Black Sun" showcasing pivotal Bruno Schulz drawings attracts a great deal of attention. "A Baselitz Retrospective 1958-2001" takes a major place in the artist’s biography, who personally attends the opening.

2003 Guided by the excavation leader and displaying original artefacts, "Troy: Journey to a City Between Legend and Reality" focuses on a great civilisation. "Magic and Superstition in Anatolia" stands out with a glimpse into the mysteries of our land. "Women and the Ottoman Age" tours five Japanese cities: Tokyo, Nagasaki, Kyoto, Kashiwa and Osaka. "Robert Capa in Turkey" displays this world-famous Magnum photographer’s shots of Turkey in 1946. "Fausto Zonaro, Ottoman Court Painter" retrospective on the last of the three Court painters is shown at the Dolmabahçe Palace Mabeyn Hall. What artists jot down fascinates with the scribbles of artists from Osman Hamdi Bey to the present in "Artists’ Journals". A series of exhibitions that named a period is highlighted in "Galatasaray Exhibitions 1916-1951".

2004 A culture of palaces, royal tombs, temples, military equipment and finery that has inspired contemporary jewellery design is celebrated in "Urartu – War and Aesthetics". Karagöz and shadow play figures fascinate in "You’ve destroyed the screen!" The world famous photographer Sebastiao Salgado’s shots in the Ara Güler private collection go on show. "A Master, a World": Sevim Burak illuminates the mysterious aspects of this legendary literary personality as a talk accompanies the exhibition. "Group d 1933-1951" commemorates this significant period in Turkish painting with an extensive exhibition. The famous miniature illustrator’s works in the Topkapı Palace collection comes to life in "I’m Mehmed Siyah Kalem, Master of Humans and Demons", again, accompanied by a talk.

2005 "Sacred Incense to Fragrant Elixir: Perfume" displays nearly 500 bottles and documents mostly from the mediaeval Islamic world, but also the Ottoman Empire and the Republican period. "Joseph Beuys: What Matters in the Line / Highlights from the Schloss Moyland Museum Collection" is an important show of the artist’s drawings. The first ever İlhan Koman retrospective sees the celebrated Mediterranean statue on display at Galatasaray Square specifically for the duration.

2006 "The Mysterious Bronze Age Woman" charts the transformation of society as bronze enters daily life with statuettes symbolising the Mother Goddess and the abundance she offers to urban populations of ancient Anatolia.

2007 The Neolithic Period: 12,000 Years Ago" transports the Badisches Landesmuseum exhibition entitled "Anatolia 12,000 Year Ago: The World’s Oldest Monuments" to Istanbul. Contemporary artists’ tributes to Freud donated to his museum upon his death début in Istanbul in "Freud and Contemporary Art". Pınar Yolaçan startles with her "Perishables" where she criticises the British aristocracy’s penchant for portraits. Peter Hristoff’s "Happy/Sad" refers to Turkey where he spent his childhood.

2007 A series of İstiklal Adventures exhibitions curated by Rene Block run until 2009: Hale Tenger’s "La Havle", Füsun Onur’s "Erratum Musicale", Gülsün Karamustafa’s "Cinema", Halil "Altındere’s I’m Not Sure This is an Exhibition", Ayşe Erkmen’s "Ups and Downs", Cengiz Çekil’s "What’s the Time?" and Nasan Tur’s "Joint Declaration.

“Adventure Istiklal” exhibitions
Hale Tenger - “Lahavle”, 5 April - 5 May 2007
Füsun Onur - “Erratum Musicale”, 7 Sep - 6 Oct 2007
Gülsün Karamustafa - “sineması/cinemasi”, 26 Oct - 25 Nov 2007
Ayşe Erkmen - “Aşağı Yukarı” / “Ups and Downs”, 16 May - 15 July 2008
Halil Altındere - “Bunun Bir Sergi Olduğundan Emin Değilim” / “I’m not sure if this is an exhibition”, 18 Sep - 5 Oct 2008
Elina Brotherus - 11 Oct - 29 Nov 2008
Cengiz Çekil - “Saat Kaç?” / “What Time is it?”, 18 Dec 2008 - 31 Jan 2009
Nasan Tur - “Ortak Duyuru” / “Collective Notice”, 15 May - 31 July 2009 
Olga Chernysheva - 9 Sep - 11 Oct 2009
Esra Ersen - “Yolcular” / “Passengers”, 13 May - 20 June 2010
Sarkis - “Bir İkona” / “An Icon”, 3 Sep - 20 Oct 2010

2008 "The Mysterious Civilisation of Phrygia" has the distinction of being the first ever exhibition on Phrygians. Nazım Hikmet’s years in Moscow come before Istanbul art lovers with the "'As I end my journey before reaching my city…’ / Nazım and Vera, From Moscow to Istanbul."

2009 "Clocks: Time’s Visible Face", the Magnum photographer Bruno Barbey’s "Italians", Ferhat Özgür’s "City Journal", the startling and provocative "Love and Violence" accompanied by Şükran Moral’s performance and highlights of his major videos in Ali Kazma’s "Obstructions".

2010 "The Lydians and Their World", this first exhibition in Turkey on the topic, fills a great gap in resources for Lydian civilisation. "Tatarlı: The Return of Colours" displays stunning paintings from the burial chamber of the ancient Tatarlı Tumulus. Major Semiha Berksoy works are exhibited under the title "I Lived with Love and Art" in reference to her famous Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum room, specially reconstructed for the exhibition.

2011 "PastPresentFuture: Highlights from the UniCredit Collection" of world famous masterpieces. Photographs, real events and recollections tell the tale of over a century of excavations into the Hittite city in "106 Years at Hattusha".

2013 Family heirlooms, trinkets and memorabilia from old mansions and houses demolished during urban redevelopment meet at an exhibition accompanied by a book in "Variety Show / Curiosities from Collectors".

2014 Orhan Veli and Oktay Rifat, the pioneers of the "Garip" -Strange- movement are commemorated with exhibitions on the centenaries of their births.

2020 “Karagöz, My Dear”, which features original shadow theater figures of Ragıp Tuğtekin, one of the prominent representatives of the traditional Turkish Shadow Theater, in the Yapı Kredi Museum Collection, along with the depictions of the masters and contemporary artists who give life to the art of karagöz was hosted by Yapı Kredi Kültür Sanat between September 15, 2020, and April 25, 2021.

2020 Deniz Gül's solo exhibition titled “Meydan”,  which has been an invitation to look at the plurality, interactions and traces of relationships that can be established with things (places, events, objects ...), unfoleded as a spatial proposal to rethink the forms of action and coexistence transformed by current local and global effects; was hosted by Yapı Kredi Kültür Sanat between September 22, 2020 - November 27, 2020.

2020 What may be the relations between an image’s appearance in a poem, whose medium is the language, and its manifestation in a painting? What may a poet’s paintings tell us about her universe of images? Inspired by these questions, the exhibition “Milat” hosted by Yapı Kredi Cultural Center between September 22, 2020 - October 31, 2020 presented the paintings of the poet Lâle Müldür that made between 2018-2020.

2021 Yapı Kredi Museum reopened with its renewed permanent displayed under the theme “A Selection from the Collections” during the 18th of March Museums Week. There are coins from Lydians to present day, tombac objects, European pocket watches, silver objects, as well as photographs and personal items which belonged to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in this renewed permanent display. Yapı Kredi Museum is open to visitors seven days of the week and free of charge. 

2022 Yapı Kredi Museum, which is located at the first floor of Yapı Kredi Culture and Arts in Beyoğlu, hosted the “Immortal Faces” exhibition between 16th May – 27th November 2022.International Council of Museums (ICOM) determined the theme of 18th of May International Museums Day as “Power of Museums.” Inspired by this theme, “Immortal Faces” exhibition brings together examples of sculptures which were borrowed from Istanbul Archaeological Museums and Sadberk Hanım Museum collections and a selection of coins from the Yapı Kredi Museum collection that have portraits depicted on them.The exhibition is divided up into three main sections; rulers, gods/goddesses and heroes. Along with mythological beings and real-life people, the exhibition also tells the stories of sculptors and minting artisans, who are immortalized themselves through their artworks. The exhibition was curated by Nihat Tekdemir, coordinated by Derya Sayın and consulted by Buket Akçay Güven. The exhibition design was made by Sergikur.