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 her philosophical and spiritual engagement with the world.
Adnan’s abstract compositions are identifiable by their poetic, sensory quality. Using a palette knife she creates rhythmic compositions of vibrant colors, referencing 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 been in numerous group and solo exhibits. The Guggenheim in New York is hosting a retrospective of her work entitled Etel Adnan: Light’s New Measure from October 8, 2021-January 10, 2022. She has works in private collections as well as many public collections around the world such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Centre Pompidou, Paris, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Royal Jordanian Museum, LAM, Lille, Guggeneheim, Abu Dhabi, Mathaf, Qatar, the Sursock Museum in Beirut, the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, the British Museum in London, Kunsthaus Zurich, the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. Among her many publications, her novel Sitt Marie-Rose about the Lebanese civil war has been translated into more than 10 languages. Etel Adnan studied philosophy at Sorbonne, Paris, moving to the United States to pursue postgraduate studies in philosophy at U.C. Berkeley, and Harvard. She remained in California teaching Philosophy at the Dominican University of California from 1958-1972.