Women Artists from Turkey: Gülsün Karamustafa

Born in 1946, Gülsün Karamustafa is a multifunctional installation artist, as well as a film director living and working in Istanbul. Her work features the female role in Turkish culture involving their migration from rural interiors into city centers and the resulting changes brought to the country. She references religious icons in her work to depict the Orthodox nature of Turkey.



Double Jesus and the Baby Antelope represents the fashion changes caused by the migration of Turkish women from rural areas into large cities. The women wore “kitsch” fabric designs sought after by women in other countries such as Russia and Ukraine. Gülsün Karamustafa uses iconic pictures of Jesus to show the religious affiliation of Turkey.


Chronographia, 1994, Sixty framed prints, 8.3 x 11.8 in.

Chronographia is an installation of sixty magazine covers of Radyo Haftasi (Radio Week), each with text and commentary by the artist’s father. The gold frames bring an iconic status to the pictured women and emphasized their celebrity status at the time. The installation as a whole represents happier times before the subsequent generation was plunged into political turmoil. Walk amongst the idols of Turkish society and view the work of Gülsün Karamustafa on February 12th at NMWA!

About the Author- Ali Printz is currently an intern in the Library and Research Center at NMWA

0 thoughts on “Women Artists from Turkey: Gülsün Karamustafa

  1. Hi! This post dates back to 2010 but in 2013 an exhibition of Gulsun Karamustafa was open in İstanbul and ı came across with this when I googled the artist to find out a little more about her. The leopard prints and bold colors they all symbolize the problem of adaptation of people who migrated to big cities. I also wrote a few words on the exhibition check it out: http://msbrighttside.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/review-gulsun-karamustafa-a-promised-exhibition/