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The Agah Uğur Collection

Istanbul  |  Turkey  | 

The Agah Uğur Collection

In the early 1990s, Agah Uğur was still collecting modernist Turkish painting.

As the CEO of the giant Turkish industrial group Borusan explains, at that time he was primarily concerned with beauty. In 2008, however, he began to radically reorient his collection’s concept. Since then, he has focused on provocative art that grapples with social and political themes, such as the abuse of power or issues related to ethnic and religious identity. Many of the artists in the Agah Uğur Collection are from Turkey, like Füsun Onur, Cevdet Erek, or Aslı Çavuşoğlu, but international names are also represented, such as Bouchra Khalili or James Richards. In order to make the exquisite video collection available to a broader public, Uğur opened Why Not—a 170-square-meter exhibition space with five rooms for screening videos and an area for installations, next to his own residence. Half of the exhibits are rotated every six months.

For more information on the Agah Uğur Collection, visit the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors.

Video work by Koki Tanaka titled “A Haircut by 9 Hairdressers at Once (Second Attempt)” at Why Not, exhibited in the Japanese Pavillon at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.
Video work by Koki Tanaka titled “A Haircut by 9 Hairdressers at Once (Second Attempt)” at Why Not, exhibited in the Japanese Pavillon at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.
Nasan Tur – In my pants;
Adrian Melis – Glories of a forgotten; Future Fusun Onur – Erratum Musicale;
Fusun Onur – Untitled;
Aslı Cavusoglu – A few Hours After Revolution; Erdem Tasdelen – Genealogy. Photo: Mr. Ozge Balkan
Nasan Tur – In my pants; Adrian Melis – Glories of a forgotten; Future Fusun Onur – Erratum Musicale; Fusun Onur – Untitled; Aslı Cavusoglu – A few Hours After Revolution; Erdem Tasdelen – Genealogy. Photo: Mr. Ozge Balkan
Didem Erk – I wish I could not be tracked in the Archives (Secret Decipherer/Mistiko Spastis); Jolanda Jansen – Men’s Room; Canan - It was worth the evil eye into my world;
Didem Erk - Anomalistic;
Halil Altındere - Dance with Taboos II. Photo: Mr. Ozge Balkan
Didem Erk – I wish I could not be tracked in the Archives (Secret Decipherer/Mistiko Spastis); Jolanda Jansen – Men’s Room; Canan - It was worth the evil eye into my world; Didem Erk - Anomalistic; Halil Altındere - Dance with Taboos II. Photo: Mr. Ozge Balkan
Living room in the house. The digital work above the balcony doors is “Day” by Cevdet Erek. The orange banner on the fireplace is by James Richards. Photo: courtesy of Agah Uğur
Living room in the house. The digital work above the balcony doors is “Day” by Cevdet Erek. The orange banner on the fireplace is by James Richards. Photo: courtesy of Agah Uğur

All images courtesy of the Agah Uğur Collection