27 November 2021 - 13 March 2022

Gülsün Karamustafa

Van Abbemuseum | Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Gülsün Karamustafa, Time as it Was, Time in Colour, 1994, collectie Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven. Photo by Peter Cox

SAHA provides support for Gülsün Karamustafa’s exhibition and publication at Van Abbemuseum. Curated by Charles Esche, held on 27 November 2021 – 13 March 2022, "Parallel Lives, Parallel Aesthetics" displays a comprehensive retrospective spanning the life of León Ferrari, paired with a full overview of the work of Gülsün Karamustafa.

In twee solo exhibitions, Ferrari and Karamustafa respond to the changes and conflicts taking place in their homelands. The work and lives of León Ferrari and Gülsün Karamustafa converge and intersect on multiple levels. Both respond to authoritarian governments that do not support freedom of speech: a situation characteristic of the issues facing many countries today, including in Europe. As well as parallels, there are also differences between the artists. Karamustafa reflects on male-female relations in a changing Turkey and the loss of Istanbul’s multicultural climate; Ferrari responds to the influence of Western, Christian civilization on South America and the dictatorship in Argentina. Karamustafa produces a new artwork, especially for this solo exhibition.

Gülsün Karamustafa (born in 1946, Ankara) is a visual artist and filmmaker. Using personal and historical narratives, the artist explores socio-political issues in modern Turkey and addresses themes including sexuality-gender, exile-ethnicity, and displacement-migration. Her work reflects on the traumatic effects of nation-building, as it responds to the processes of modernization, political turbulence, and civil rights in a period that includes the military coups of 1960, 1971, and 1980. Karamustafa was one of the laureates of the 2014 Prince Claus Award.

The Van Abbemuseum (Est. in 1936 in Eindhoven, Netherlands) is one of the first public museums for contemporary art to be established in Europe. The museum’s collection consists of 3.150 artworks includes key works and archives by Joseph Beuys, Marc Chagall, René Daniëls, Marlene Dumas, Sheela Gowda, Patricia Kaersenhout, Gülsün Karamustafa, Iris Kensmil, Oskar Kokoschka, John Körmeling, El Lissitzky, Paul McCarthy, Pablo Picasso, Martha Rosler, and Lidwien van de Ven. 


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