Any audience acquainted with Çağla Cabaoğlu Gallery most probably has attended the opening of a Nadide Akdeniz, Komet or Fulya Asyalı exhibition or was informed about such exhibitions via printed or social media. Till now the gallery had a substantial influence on the careers of more than 150 artists and while on one side sharing periodic works of experienced artists with the public, on the other side assisted numerous young artists in becoming visible. While a multitude of works joined the information network in the history of art though printed or digital media, many others claimed their places in significant collections. In the intensive information flow of our current era, it is very rarely a current issue how any art gallery is established, the stages encountered, its mission and vision and in general the role it is playing in the world of art. Commemorating its 22nd anniversary, Çağla Cabaoğlu Gallery is celebrating transition to its new venue at historic Manuel Apartment in Nişantaşı by means of a group exhibition comprising of works by artists from four different generations of diverse genders, locations and approaches. By maintaining its position it has attained in the center of the art world through a new organizational structuring and enabling the works of several artists to be closely followed by the public, the Gallery further ensures that such works to become a part of both important and influential corporate and private collections of fine art. Within the scope of 22nd Anniversary Exhibition, Komet, Halil Akdeniz, Nadide Akdeniz, İrfan Okan, Fatmagül Karadeniz, Onay Akbaş, Uluç Ali Kılıç, Nilgün Sabar, Mehmet Öğüt and Ece Gauer are presenting recent specimens of Turkish Painting in a wide spectrum ranging in context from symbolism to ecology pertaining to nature and urban life, whereas in form from diverse derivatives of abstract life to figurative approaches. On the other hand, yet another important feature of Çağla Cabaoğlu Gallery is the attention it has given to sculpture for years and in this exhibition Cem Sağbil, Server Demirtaş, Varol Topaç, Onur Fırat Fen, Fulya Asyalı, Ian James Carr, Rina Balkan, Gülce Yelken, Uğur Çakı and Reyhan Çezik are demonstrating different approaches of the art of sculpture over a spectrum ranging from playfulness to Anatolian Culture, from minimalism to post-minimalism. While Kurt Bullend, Gülveli Kaya, Levent Morgök, M. Orkun Müftüoğlu, Hakan Kırdar, Beyza Boynudelik, Ekrem Yalçındağ and Onur Ercoşkun present different versions of contemporary painting, Can Tatlıparmak, Rina Balkan, Gökte Tunç, Necip Baykara, Ahmet Rüstem Ekici and Hakan Sorar complement this group by means of their unique styles. Finally, it is worthwhile referring to the existence of a great master influencing with his works and rhetoric all of the succeeding generations: Ömer Uluç, the doyen of Modern Turkish Art, is honoring this opening exhibition by his work.
Çağla Cabaoğlu Gallery plays an essential role in our world of art, which is quite obvious and noticeable on one side, while not quite imperceptible on the other. Visible points generally consist of frequently organizing exhibitions, promoting works of artists to the world of art and providing that works of art meet with the buyers, but these are not the only mission of this Gallery. Çağla Cabaoğlu Gallery is both providing all necessary infrastructure required to ensure that artists, particularly young artists are solely focused on their activities and at the same time ongoing with its cultural mission towards leaving its traces on art history through printed or digital publications. Once you enter the Gallery, it is visible only the works and publications exhibited, but it is also to be kept in mind the labor-intensive process on the background of this front stage: At the background, there is a team inquiring into the archives of artists, working for months on any personal or group exhibition or possibly investigating for days the works of just one single artist. Çağla Cabaoğlu Gallery is working with specialized art historians and curators, thereby ensuring an intensive process is generated in the most effective manner and becomes visible. Çağla Cabaoğlu is at present in possession of an essential and effective influence with its sustenance and reliability at the core of such an influence, which is in fact ensured by the program in the background of the gallery identity. History of the gallery covers representation of scores of artists, art fairs, public exhibits, events and speeches, seminars and panels, whereas such events focusing on actual or historic facts and incidents in several different aspects are enabling enrichment and flourishing of our cultural universe. It is indicative of such affluence, further to the national fairs and events of the Gallery, international events as well attended in several different countries and towns ranging from Shanghai to London, from Basel to Miami.
Situated at the heart of Istanbul, Çağla Cabaoğlu Gallery has become center of a critical visual language by adopting in its agenda both national as well as international matters and its basic role is clear: For the sake of artists realizing and making breakthrough in respect of works enthralled and wondered by artists, to facilitate their production processes. All of the artists taking part in the exhibition have generated and are still continuing to produce and generate extraordinary and innovative works throughout their art creation practices, which are not quite similar to those witnessed previously. While Çağla Cabaoğlu Gallery is assisting artists in achieving their short-, medium- and long-term targets, is also supporting them to share their productions in this process which art lovers. While the Gallery is enabling assessment and evaluation of artists in parallel to a correct critical axis, is also never making concessions from its objective of generating a special audience for its artists. While on one side it is providing means at its new ambient to the artists for works of wider scale or three-dimensional works, is also generating a space of comfort where art-lovers spend longer time with the works, whereby being involved with a mental experience. At this point, Çağla Cabaoğlu Gallery is ongoing with its mission in the world of art in parallel to several areas of expertise: On one side ensuring visibility of young artists and orienting them, while on the other side creating new fields of existence for already known artists. This is a characteristic of a great institutional history: Creating an area where there could always be the better and more could be realized at all times, and Çağla Cabaoğlu Gallery continues to grow as one of the important institutions in the field of art.
* Faculty Member with PhD (Altınbaş University, Art History), Critic and Independent Curator.