Van Abbemuseum

Extensive exhibition of works by León Ferrari and Gülsün Karamustafa a first in the Netherlands

Saturday 27 November 2021 will see the opening of the exhibition Parallel Lives, Parallel Aesthetics: León Ferrari & Gülsün Karamustafa at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. The exhibition uniquely combines two solo exhibitions in their own right: a large retrospective spanning the life of León Ferrari (1920 – 2013, Buenos Aires) plus a poignant overview of the work of Gülsün Karamustafa (1946, Ankara). Parallel Lives, Parallel Aesthetics brings to the fore various convergences and intersections between the work and lives of Ferrari and Karamustafa, revealing to visitors the commonalities and connections between the two. 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. Parallel Lives, Parallel Aesthetics will run in Eindhoven until Sunday 13 March 2022.

The exhibition is aligned with the Van Abbemuseum’s ambition and reputation for introducing artists of international renown to the Netherlands in a big way. The exhibition of the work of León Ferrari (titled A Kind Cruelty) was on display earlier this year at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, and will be on display at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in summer 2022. The overview of Gülsün Karamustafa’s work will be on display at Lundskonsthall in Lund in 2022 (titled After the Cosmopolis).

More than just parallels
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 on dictatorship in Argentina. The exhibition includes never before shown pieces by the artist. Karamustafa will be producing a new artwork especially for this solo exhibition.

About Gülsün Karamustafa
Gülsün Karamustafa graduated from the Istanbul State Fine Arts Academy in 1969. Since the 1970s, she has been considered a visionary who gives meaning and form to personal freedom in art. As such, she has had enormous influence on younger generations of Turkish artists. Karamustafa appears to approach life and art with relentless curiosity; perhaps one reason why she has become a key figure in Turkish contemporary art. Through her work, she addresses themes such as (gender) identity, tradition, memory, cultural shifts and their effects. Her work can be found in international collections including those of the Guggenheim, the Tate Modern and the Van Abbemuseum. In 2014, Karamustafa received the Dutch Prins Claus Prijs and in 2021, the Swiss Roswitha Haftmann award.

Strip karamustafa

About León Ferarri
León Ferrari is undeniably one of Argentina’s most celebrated contemporary artists. He won several awards for his work, which can be found among the collections of leading museums around the world. He spent his life in Buenos Aires, besides a period of exile spent in São Paulo between 1976 and 1991. Ferrari was not only a prominent artist, but also a provocative critic of the military regime and of the catholic church under the leadership of Cardinal Bergoglio, the current pope. His activism, strengthened by the government’s abduction of his son, Ariel, influenced his art and contributed towards his constant search for unrestricted freedom as a form of protest. In 2007, Ferrari was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in recognition of his artistic career.

Strip ferrari

Exhibition guide and artist talk
The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive yet handy exhibition guide featuring interviews with both artists and an essay by Eve Kalyva (A5, full-colour, illustrated). Price at the online ticket shop €2.50, price at the ticket desk €5. On the afternoon of Sunday 28 November there will be an artist talk between Gülsün Karamustafa and Charles Esche, Director at the Van Abbemuseum. 

The exhibition León Ferrari: A Kind Cruelty was created in collaboration with Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Fundación Augusto y León Ferrari Arte y Acervo in Buenos Aires. The exhibition Gülsün Karamustafa: After the Cosmopolis was created in collaboration with Lundskonsthall in Lund.

With thanks to

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For enquiries and images:
Neeltje van Gool, Press Office
M: +31 (0)6 1299 5794
E: pressoffice@vanabbemuseum.nl

Images (left to right, top to bottom): Portraitt Gülsün Karamustafa. Photo: Muhsin Akgün   |   Portraitt León Ferrari. Foto: Adrián Rocha Novoa   |   Gülsün Karamustafa, Men Crying, 2001, (guest director Atıf Yılmaz), 3-channel video, 00.18.08 (channel I and III), 00.13.55 (channel II) | Gülsün Karamustafa, Mermaid, 1986, mixed media on paper, 54 x 68.5 cm (framed), collection Artist | Gülsün Karamustafa, Etiquette, 2011, Gallery view solo exhibition A Promised Exhibition, 2014, SALT Ulus, Istanbul, Photo: Mustafa Hazneci | (3x) Exhibition A Kind Cruelty. León Ferrari 100 years at the Museo Reina Sofía. December 2020. Gallery view. Photography: Joaquín Cortés / Román Lores. Photographic archive of the Reina Sofía Museum
Visiting address
Stratumsedijk 2, Eindhoven
The Netherlands
Opening hours
Tuesday to Sunday 11am - 5pm.
The museum is closed on King's Day, Christmas Day &New Year’s Day.

€13 Adults
€ 6 Students, CJP card holders
Free Children aged up to 12, holders of a Museumkaart, Vrienden Loterij VIP card & every Tuesday afternoon after 3pm.

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