​Photo: Mehmet Çimen

​Nazlı Gürlek is an artist, curator and art writer based between Istanbul and Palo Alto, California. She obtained her MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths College, London (2008), and her BA in Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence (2006).

Gürlek collaborates with various institutions both nationally and internationally on a freelance basis. Most recently she served as the Co-Curator of the 4th International Mardin Biennial: BEYOND WORDS, in the south-eastern city of Mardin, Turkey, where she brought together work by 17 artists among which are Ana Mendieta, Chris Burden, Taner Ceylan, CANAN, in the section of the biennial entitled Body Language. A previous curatorial project include CANAN: Behind Mount Qaf, the first institutional solo presentation of the acclaimed artist, at Arter - A Space for Art, Vehbi Koç Foundation. Prior to that she was Curator of the Collection at Borusan Contemporary in Istanbul, a museum and a multi-platform program of exhibitions, events, educational initiatives, new commissions and site specific installations rooted in the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection where she curated Common Ground: Earth, Water, Air - Selections from the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection. This series of three exhibitions ran throughout 2014-15 and brought together works from the collection that were selected on the basis of a shared concern with the concepts of three “commons” including earth, water and air, and installed in the public spaces and offices of Borusan Holding responding to the unique and site-specific paradigm of Borusan Contemporary. 

Between September 2011 - June 2012 she curated the 35th year anniversary program of exhibitions, talks and performances at Maçka Sanat Galerisi in Istanbul, a pioneering gallery founded in 1976 with the aim of providing space and support to the radical tendencies in the art of their time. At Maçka she conducted a two-fold program looking at the most actual production and archival research at the same time where she commissioned and produced new work by a young generation of conceptually-oriented artists Bengü Karaduman, Burak Arıkan, Volkan Aslan, Alp Klanten, Elmas Deniz, and İz Öztat, and organized events such as Photographs and Films from the Avalanche Archive. More recent exhibitions include Trocadero at Nesrin Esirtgen Collection with works by Özlem Altın, Tuncay Çavdar, Aslı Çavuşoğlu, İris Ergul, Leyla Gediz, Deniz Gül, Serhat Kiraz, Ali Miharbi, İz Öztat, Sun Ra, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Sarkis, and Lawrence Weiner.

In 2013 Nazlı conducted research on the Polish art scene and its history as a curator-in-residence at the CCA Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw in July 2013. Result of this on-site research was Excuse My Dust, a two-day public program which took place in October 2014 at the same institution, problematizing the matter of "display" in contemporary art's current interest in history. Presentations by curators and directors Daniel Muzyczuk/Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź, Marika Kuźmicz/Arton Foundation, Małgorzata Ludwisiak/CCA Ujazdowski Castle, and artists Anna Molska, Karol Radziszewski, Janek Simon and Aslı Çavuşoğlu revealed the participants' diverse approaches presenting archival material as part of their own work.

Also in 2013 Nazlı took part in two of Independent Curators International's curatorial intensive programs 'From Official History to Underrepresented Narratives' at CCA Derry-Londonderry, and 'Curatorial Seminar in Istanbul' - the latter one organized in collaboration with SAHA. Part of these two curatorial research programs she presented her research papers "Invisible Histories" and "The Invention of a Hybrid Exhibition Form in Turkey" respectively at CCA Derry-Londonderry and SALT Galata.

​In 2008-2009 she worked as Assistant Curator of the Pavilion of Turkey at the 53rd Venice Biennale. She collaborated on a project basis with various institions including among others Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Vienna Fair, LOOP Video Art Festival, and Stroom Den Haag. Between 2007-2013 she was a founding member and editor of the publishing collective IMpress, and for 3 consecutive periods between November 2011-November 2014 she acted as the Vice President of the AICA Turkey. During that period she co-curated the AICA Turkey symposia 'Contemporary Art in Turkey from 1980's To Present: Testimonies and Shared Experiences' at Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, Istanbul.

She guest-edited the Spring 2016 edition of ArteEast Quarterly, titled Nature is Our Body, with contributions by Nil Yalter, Ruanne Abou Rahme & Basel Abbas, Carmen Bouyer & Ayça İnce and Aslı Seven. Her writings appear in FriezeFlash Art International, Camera AustriaThe Exhibitionist and Art Asia PacificShe is the author of 'Sarkis and When Attitudes Become Form', the book of an oral history project published by SALT Istanbul (2013), and the editor of the first major monograph on İnci Eviner (Revolver & Gallery Nev, 2011).