Gülsün Karamustafa, "Mermaid", 1986. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Leon Ferrari was born in 1920 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Gülsün Karamustafa, in 1946 in Ankara, Turkey. Despite coming from different corners of the world and presenting different stories and expressive languages, it is possible to find points of dialogue between the two artists. Opened on the 27th of November at the Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven, Netherlands), the exposure Parallel Lives, Parallel Aesthetics (Parallel lives, parallel aesthetics, in free translation) brings to light these convergences and intersections between the work and life of Ferrari and Karamustafa.

Both became known for their stances against authoritarian governments, which hamper freedom of expression. Karamustafa continues to focus on male-female relations in a changing Turkey and reflects on the loss of Istanbul's multicultural climate. Ferrari, who died in 2013, responded to the influence of Western Christian civilization in South America and the dictatorship in Argentina.

To establish the dialogues and at the same time reveal the particularities, Parallel Lives, Parallel Aestheticsccombines two solo exposures. After the Cosmopolis (after cosmopolis, in free translation) provides an overview of the work of the Turkish artist, as well as works made especially for the solo show. In 2022, after the end of the season at the Van Abbemuseum, the show should be shown at Lundskonsthall, in Lund (Sweden). Already Kind Cruelty (kind cruelty, in free translation) is a retrospective covering the life and work of Ferrari, commemorating the centenary of the Argentine artist. Including never-before-seen pieces, the exhibition was on view at the Museo Reina Sofia, in Madrid (Spain) in 2021, and will move on to the Center Pompidou, in Paris (France) in the summer of 2022.

Curated by Charles Esche, Andrea Wain and Julieta Zamorano, Parallel Lives, Parallel Aesthetics runs until March 13, 2022. The exhibitions that comprise it are the first major solo shows by the artists in the Netherlands and are part of a project by Van Abbemuseum that seeks to bring internationally renowned figures to the country.

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