Istanbul’s contemporary art scene continues to flourish. New exhibition spaces, galleries, museums, and art fairs continue to emerge. This May, Dirimart opens a second gallery in the Dolapdere area, next to the new museum of the Koc Foundation’s Contemporary Art Collection (expected to open by the end of 2017). Designed by Studio MDA, New York, this museum-like 1000sqm space, with its outside sculpture garden, will be the largest commercial art space in Istanbul.

“Surface and Beyond,” the inaugural group exhibition on view through July 30 will present well-known international and Turkish contemporary artists. All artworks, be it painting, sculpture, or film, invite the viewer on a visual journey beyond the surface. The diverse group of artists investigates the concept of the ‘exposed surface’ from various perspectives, creating a surprising visual dialogue. The highly aestheticized pieces, often playing with orientalist traditions and decorative elements, feature beneath their surface political, social, and religious subtexts.

Franz Ackermann combines photographic souvenirs and abstract forms into large-scale paintings, thus opening up a two-dimensional space on canvas, where the mind and the physical world can meet.

Sarah Morris translates urban life into geometric colored fragments, which seem to deconstruct the flatness of the canvas. In addition, she will present a film that combines images of big metropoles without a cohesive dialogue.

Artist Bernard Frize, a recent winner of the prestigious Käthe-Kollwitz Prize, seems to sculpt color in his radically abstract and flat paintings.

Created specifically for this exhibition, Shirin Neshat will unveil a new triptych of photos, telling the moving stories of the people captured, conveying realism, immediacy, and a sense of drama.

Isaac Julien presents a highly conceptual formal language to evoke problematic issues in political or social realms, touching on topics, such as migration or homosexuality, while simultaneously interlinking it with museology, popular cinema, or modernist architecture. In his large photographs, ‘’Echo,’’ (2015) and ‘’Stones against Diamonds,’’ (2015) he stages his favorite acting model Vanessa, in Brazil. Pioneering modernist architect Lina Bo Bardi, known for her research on stones and crystals, inspires the series.

The Argentine artist Tomàs Saraceno will exhibit a sculpture on the exterior of the gallery that transports reflective light into the grand gallery space.

Eva Rothschild displays the use of unusual materials. In the two-meter sculpture, ‘’The Xs and Ys,’’ (2014) she combines resin and wool in a steel frame that from a distance resembles a black monochrome painting.

The international artists’ investigations of the surface are presented alongside four well-known Turkish artists.

The conceptual artist Ayse Erkmen works in sculpture, installation, video and performance art. Erkmen will present a multi-colored, large-scale floor piece and a relief of her ‘’Pantone’’ series (2014). Two of Haluk Akakce’s abstract spiral-works will be exhibited. The painter Ebru Uygun destroys the surface of the painted canvas by breaking it aggressively into plights, in a process that is physically strenuous, and creates a strong three-dimensional effect through wave-like shapes. Finally, the designer couple Autoban, known for their artistic furniture, created a voluminous marble sculpture.