Nazlı Gürlek

Born in Istanbul, 1981
Lives and works between Istanbul and San Francisco

Trained both as an artist and a curator with 14 years of independent curatorial career, recently I returned to a full-time art practice in order to speak my own truth in response to some of the pressing issues of our time. I am interested in developing an aesthetic that reflects the here and now of authentic life experiences in order to speak of freedoms, agency, change and empowerment.


2008 MFA Curating, Goldsmiths College, London

2006 BA Painting, The Academy of Fine Arts of Florence 

Education and Workshops in Expressive Arts Therapy

2018 “Bring Your Imagination to Life: An Introduction to Scoring & Performance", Tamalpa Institute, San Rafael, California

2018 Life/Art Process® with Daria Halprin, Tamalpa Institute, San Rafael, California

2018 Skinner Releasing Technique Level 1 Training, Mimar Sinan Unviersity of Fine Arts Contemporary Dance Department, Istanbul
2017 Introduction to Dance Therapy Master, Codarts, Rotterdam

Selected Solo Presentations

 2017 “ONE”, Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilisations (RCAC), a parallel event to the 15th Istanbul Biennial 

Selected Group Exhibitions

2018 6th International Çanakkale Biennial: “Before the Past, After the Future” Çanakkale, Turkey

2017 “Floating Tactics After a Sunken Island”, Daire Gallery, Istanbul

Selected Curatorial Projects
2018 4th International Mardin Biennial: “Beyond Words”, Mardin, Turkey 
2017-18 “CANAN: Behind Mount Qaf”, Vehbi Koç Foundation’s Arter - Space for Art, Istanbul 

2016-ongoing "Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype" Gatherings for Women, Istanbul-San Francisco
2014-15 "Common Ground: Earth, Water, Air – Selections From the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection,” Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul 
2014 "Trocadero", Nesrin Esirtgen Collection, Istanbul
2014 "Excuse My Dust", Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
2012 "Dialogue: Art from Turkey”, ViennaContemporary, Vienna 
2012 “Shared”, 5533, Istanbul
2012 “The Riot Act”, Galerie Mor Charpentier
2011-12 "Bengü Burak Volkan Alp Elmas İz", Maçka Sanat Galerisi, Istanbul
2011 “İnci Eviner”, Nesrin Esirtgen Collection, Istanbul
2011 "Rehearsal", Gallery NON, Istanbul
2011 “Fold”, Proje 4L / Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul
2010 “Who Wants to Act Now, or Even See Acting”, DEPO, Istanbul
2009 "Lapses", Pavilion of Turkey at the 53rd Venice Biennial (assistant curator)
2009 “Schirin Kretschmann: Simdi”, Unfair Project, De Service Garage, Amsterdam
2008 “A Fine Red Line – Live”, 176 Project Space, London
2008 “Rhymes of an Hour”, LOOP Video Art Festival, Barcelona
2007 “Multiple Intimacy”, 10th International Istanbul Biennial parallel event, Mimar Sinan University, Istanbul

2007 “Between Mirrors and Windows”, Photo 50, London Art Fair, Business Design Center, London

Selected Editorial Work and Publications (Authored and Contributed)

2017 "Lawrence Weiner: WHEREWITHAL", Kunsthaus Bregenz, exh. catalogue, November 12, 2016 - January 15, 2017

2016 “Nature is Our Body”, ArteEast Quarterly: The Global Platform for Middle East Arts, Spring 2016

2013 “Sarkis and When Attitudes Become Form”, SALT Istanbul

2011 "İnci Eviner", Revolver Berlin


2015 Residency Unlimited, New York

2013 "Re-Directing East", Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw

2013 Curatorial Seminar in Istanbul, Independent Curators International in collaboration with SAHA
2013 Curatorial Intensive: From “Official History” to Underrepresented Narratives, Independent Curators International, Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) Derry~Londonderry, Northern Ireland


2018 Jameel Art Prize
2017 Gallery Zilberman, Istanbul
2015 Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center​, Tallinn
2013 Independent Curators International
2008 Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts
2008 LOOP Art Fair, Barcelona

2007 Tate Modern, London
2007 London Art Fair                    
2005 Galleria D'Arte Moderna, Bologna
2005 Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul
2004 Yapı Kredi Cultural Center, Istanbul

Selected International Press
May 2018, HG Masters, “Mardin Biennial 4: Beyond Words”, Art Asia Pacific
May 2018, Ayla Jean Yackley, “Contemporary art biennial returns to Mardin in Turkey after three-year hiatus", The Art Newspaper
May 11, 2018, Nazlan Ertan, “Ancient City of Mardin Gets Big Dose of Contemporary Art”, Al Monitor
November 30, 2017, Jasmine Lee, “Intimate Connection with CANAN’s Exhibition “Behind Mount Qaf”, The McGill International Review
December 17, 2017, Ayla Jean Yackley, “Turkish Feminist Artist Takes on Mount Qaf”, Al Monitor
August 29, 2017, “Supernatural at its best at upcoming exhibition in Istanbul”, Daily Sabah Newspaper
December 2017, Gesualdo Busacca, “Being ONE with the Past”, Art Unlimited
September 08, 2017, Irem Yasar, “Ancient wall painting inspires modern performance artist”, Daily Sabah
November 03, 2017, Kaya Genç, “Adventurous exhibition explores 'Floating Tactics After a Sunken Island'”, Daily Sabah
June 2016, Syskia Lissens, “Edging Toward Arabia: Istanbul Hosts Jameel Prize 4”, Harpers Bazaar Art
January 24, 2015, Rumeysa Kiger, “Borusan Contemporary delves into water as a shared resource”, Today’s Zaman
December 03, 2014, “Two new exhibitions open at Borusan Contemporary”, Daily Sabah
September 2012, “Turkey Day / VIENNA TALKS at the VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary 2012”, Altertüm Liches

Contribution to Selected Press, Magazines and Journals


Camera Austria

Art Asia Pacific

Flash Art International

The Exhibitionist