Vasıf Kortun moves up in the list of contemporary artworld’s most powerful figures

Vasıf Kortun, Director of Research and Programs of SALT, was named one of the 100 most powerful figures in the contemporary art world in Art Review for the third consecutive year.

Vasıf Kortun was ranked #68 in Art Review’s annual “100 most powerful figures in the contemporary art world” list. Ranked #86 last year, Kortun was described as “curator spearheading the Turkish art scene” by the magazine:

“From the outside, last year, Istanbul seemed just another ‘hyperambitious’ (Kortun’s word) art scene. And then the Gezi Park protests happened. Even before this, Kortun, as the director of research and programmes at multivenue nonprofit gallery SALT, was Turkish art’s de facto spokesperson to the rest of the world and prime instigator of this burgeoning contemporary art capital. A 2012 New York Times article quoted an unnamed artist as noting that ‘there was before and after Vasıf’. As unrest on Istanbul’s streets blew up, the former CSS Bard director gave commentary and insider analysis from the thick of it. He’s navigated the aftermath well too. SALT recently stepped in to help stage an Istanbul Biennial undermined by the city’s volatile political situation, a reminder that if anyone can mediate between Turkey’s politics and the need to sustain its progressive artworld, it’s Kortun.”

Photo: Cem Berk Ekinil

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