The American born Istanbul based Nancy Atakan has been an active figure in the Istanbul arts scene since 1970s not only as an artist but also a teacher and art historian. 

Atakan’s practice spans a multimedia approach encompassing installation, video, photography, digital printing, neon and text. In her work, the artist incorporates references to femininity, gender politics, memory, globalization and relationship between image and word. 

Often autobiographical, these subjects are relevant to her personally as an American who has lived and worked in the metropolis of Istanbul. All of her work involves research, collaboration and dialogue as it incorporates observations of current events and also references to the history and culture of Istanbul. Permeated with touches of lightness, historical narratives and weighty issues within her work are brought closer to everyday life.


Nancy Atakan, (b. 1946, USA) lives and works in Istanbul.
-1995, PhD, History of Art, Mimar Sinan University, Istanbul, Turkey
-1982, MA, Educational Psychology, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey
-1968, BA, Fine Arts and History of Art, Mary Washington College, Virginia, USA
Selected solo exhibitions; Scent of Time, Pi Artworks Istanbul(2022); Remembering the Future, London Collective on Vortic Collect (2020); It still is as it always was, with Kalliopi Lemos, Pi Artworks London, UK (2020); Translation in Motion (with Maria Anderssonn), Riksidrottsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden (2020);  Forward, March!, with Maria Andersson, Salt Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey (2019); Under the Radar: 5533, with Volkan Aslan, ISCP - International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York, USA (2018); Making a Shift, (with Maria Andersson), Nordic Art Association, NFK, Stockholm, Sweden (2017); A Community of Lines, Pi Artworks Istanbul, Turkey (2017); Sporting Chances, Pi Artworks London, UK (2016); Incomprehensible World, IKSV - Istanbul Culture and Art Foundation, Hamlet Theatre Festival, Istanbul, Turkey (2014); Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Pi Artworks Istanbul, Turkey (2013); How Do We Know We Are Not Impostors?, Pi Artworks Istanbul, Turkey (2011); From Here 1970-2011, Pi Artworks Istanbul, Turkey (2011); Holding On, Apartment Project, Istanbul, Turkey (2009); I Believe/I Don't Believe, Pi Artworks Istanbul, Turkey (2009).
Selected group exhibitions; Fine del Confine, Adventure Park Ceroglie, Trieste, Italy (2022); The Event of a Thread , MOMus Experimental Center for the Arts, Thessaloniki, Greece (2022); Don't Look Back Deep is the PastOMM, Eskişehir, Turkey (2021)Terra Incognita, curated by Ayca Okay, Cocoon, İstanbul, Turkey (2021); Weave Braid Attach, Textile Pioneers and Contemporary Expressions, Vasteras Konstmuseum (Vasteras Art Museum), Vasteras, Sweden (2019); Marking a Shift, with Maria Andersson, Galleri Box, Göteborg, Germany (2019); Arcadia Mundi, Macroasilo, Rome, Italy (2019); Shores, Open Club, Moscow, Russia (2019);Kek sever misiniz?, K.E.K, Istanbul, Turkey (2019); At the Borderline of Vitality, Corridor Project Space, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2018); Before the Past - After the Future, 6th Canakkale Biennial, Turkey; The Compiler Screenings ‘Our Stories’, curated by Susann Wintsch and Chantal Molleur, presented by White Frame, Stadtkino, Basel, Switzerland (2017); Even My Mum Can Make A Book, Corridor Project Space, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2017); Whose Art History?, Uniq Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); You and I, 5533 Artist Run Initiative, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); A Room of Our Own, Ark Kultur Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); Small Faces, Large Sizes, Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul, Turkey (2015); Stay with Me, Wesenburg Museum of Modern Art, Bremen, Germany (2015); 40 Videos from 40 Years of Video Art in Turkey, 25th Ankara International Film Festival, Goethe Institute, Turkey (2014); Me, Myself and I, Me as a Dilemma, CerModern, Ankara, Turkey (2013); Dream and Reality - Modern and Contemporary Women Artists from Turkey, Istanbul Modern Museum, Istanbul, Turkey (2011); Under My Feet I Want the World Not Heaven, Istanbul Next Wave, Akademie der Kunst, Berlin, Germany (2009-2010).

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