Iwona Blazwick was announced today as the Curator of the 18th Istanbul Biennial, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and sponsored by 2007-2036 Biennial Sponsor Koç Holding, running from 14 September to 17 November 2024.

Announcing the appointment, Görgün Taner, General Director of IKSV, said today: “We are delighted that Iwona Blazwick has accepted our invitation to curate the 18th Istanbul Biennial. Her depth of experience and her long association with the Biennial make her an ideal choice to lead the team for 2024.”

Iwona Blazwick OBE is a curator, writer and art historian. She was Director of the Whitechapel Gallery, London from 2001 – 2022 and was formerly at Tate Modern and London’s ICA. She is a curator for the Royal Commission’s Arts AlUla project in Saudi Arabia. She has curated numerous solo shows and group exhibitions of modern and contemporary artists from around the world. She inaugurated the Tate Turbine Hall and Whitechapel Gallery commissioning programmes; and has been an independent curator of survey shows and public art commissions in Europe and the US, Japan and China. She serves on the advisory boards of the Mayor of London’s Fourth Plinth Commission in Trafalgar Square; and the City of London’s annual Sculpture in the City project.

Blazwick was founding editor of Contemporary Artists Monographs and Themes and Movements in Art at Phaidon Press, and Whitechapel Gallery/ MIT Press Documents of Contemporary Art. Blazwick has published monographs and catalogues on a global roster of contemporary artists and art movements and on the institutions of art. She was honoured for services to art in 2007; recognised as an Officier des Arts et Lettres by France and is Officer of the Star of Italy. Blazwick serves as a Trustee of Harewood House, Yorkshire and on the juries of the MaxMara Art Prize for Women and Film London’s Jarman Award.

The Istanbul Biennial has hosted over 1,200 artists and artist collectives since its founding in 1987 and is the most comprehensive international arts exhibition in the region, producing 650 new site-specific artworks. The Biennial works on an exhibition model which enables a direct dialogue between artists from diverse cultures and the audience. In addition to showcasing site-specific work, the discovery of alternative and historical venues through contemporary art has been another essential component of the Istanbul Biennial. The Istanbul Biennial has made use of more than 100 diverse venues in the city, including Hagia Sophia Museum, Atatürk Cultural Centre, Princes’ Islands, Bosphorus Bridge, Maiden Tower and Antrepo Buildings.

Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) is a non-profit cultural institution. Since 1973, the Foundation continues its efforts to enrich Istanbul’s cultural and artistic life. İKSV regularly organises the Istanbul Festivals of Music, Film, Theatre and Jazz, the Istanbul Biennial, Leyla Gencer Voice Competition, autumn film week Filmekimi and realises one-off events throughout the year. İKSV also organises the Türkiye Pavilion at the International Art and Architecture Exhibitions of la Biennale di Venezia.

The 18th Istanbul Biennial will open to the public on 14 September 2024. The media preview of the biennial will be held on 10-11-12-13 September 2024 and professional preview will be held on 12-13 September 2024.

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