Celebrates the career of an artist who traversed mediums, borders, and cultures.
Etel Adnan’s creative output spanned genres and languages. An award-winning poet and novelist, her paintings and artist books began appearing in museum shows when she was already in her eighties. This exhibition catalog corresponds with the first comprehensive retrospective of Adnan’s work to be held in Germany, a collaboration between the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf and the Lenbachhaus in Munich. The volume presents work from across Adnan’s long and multifaceted career, reflecting a lifetime of exchange between the Arab and the Western worlds.
Adnan (1925-2021) spent her life between Lebanon, where she was born and later worked as the cultural editor for two daily newspapers; France, where she attended the Sorbonne before returning in 1975; and the United States, where she attended graduate school, began painting at the age of thirty-four, and ultimately moved in the late 1970s, settling in California. Etel Adnan
explores her impressive body of work: her texts; her bright, abstract paintings; her tapestries, modernist interpretations of Persian rugs; and her leporellos
, booklets created with a concertina fold that draw on Adnan’s relationship to calligraphy and literature. Touching on the relationship between the artist’s work and her biography, this book is a tribute to a cosmopolitan figure for whom painting represented the love of the world.