Etel Adnan

b. 1925, Beirut, Lebanon; lives in Paris, France


Painter, writer and poet, Etel Adnan is widely recognized as one of the foremost authors, poets, and playwrights of her generation. She moves fluidly between the disciplines of writing and art, her work rooted in a philosophical and spiritual engagement with the world. Adnan’s abstract compositions are distinguished by their poetic, sensory quality. Using a palette knife she creates rhythmic compositions of vibrant colors, referencing the natural settings of her native Lebanon and her home in northern California, where she lived for more than twenty years. She has referred to her work as a reflection of her “immense love for the world, and the forces that shape a landscape”.

Adnan has had numerous solo exhibits; the Guggenheim Museum in New York is mounting the retrospective Etel Adnan: Light’s New Measure from October 8, 2021-January 10, 2022. She is in private as well as public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the British Museum; London, Kunsthaus Zurich, and the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. She taught Philosophy at the Dominican University of California from 1958-1972.  


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