About her work
Poetry is invasive. As one of the most significant Arab-American poets, well-known for her micro-structures and preoccupation with global discourse and displacement, Etel Adnan's painting relies on a straightforward simple technique: Working on a table, using a palette knife to apply oil paint on canvas, directly from the tube, in firm strokes throughout the surface of the material. Her signature abstract landscapes executed in basic geometric shapes, suggesting rather than representing - the formal structure is that of the color field, flatness - are open to a variety of readings and provide a rhythmic transcription of her poetics. Primarily interested in purity of feeling and consciousness, Adnan's theory of the image is not even about visuals, for the artists refuses the role of images as static; the simultaneity of abstraction allows the viewer to locate both the experience and content simultaneously in different place, echoing Adnan's own literary demands. Beyond poetry, the writer and artist eloquently negotiates in her painting what in poetry is impossible: A true relationship between nature and art. It remains entirely sensorial.
Etel Adnan was born in 1952 in Lebanon.The Lebanese-American artist is a painter, tapestry designer, and poet and is considered one of the most celebrated Arab-American writers. She studied at the Sorbonne, the University of California (Berkeley), and Harvard University, and went on to teach philosophy of art at the Dominican University of California. She lives between Paris, France and Sausalito, California and has held solo and group exhibitions in the USA, Jordan, Morocco, France, Belgium, Italy, UK, Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. At Galerie Janine Rubeiz: “Peindre des Ponts New-York-Paris” (1999), “Paysages de Californie et Livres d’artiste” (2004), "Glances on Yesterday and Today I" (2005), , "Coup d’œil au féminin"(2007), and "Oeuvres récentes" (2008). Adnan also participated in the exhibition "Pinceaux pour Plumes" at the Sursock Museum, 2006. The artist's work has been showcased in different art fairs such as Art Paris Carrousel du Louvre (1999), «Salon International D’Art Contemporain-ARTUEL», (Beirut 2000-2001), Art Paris-Abu Dhabi(2007), and Abu Dhabi Art (2009).Etel Adnan ‘s work has been acquired by private collections as well as by the Royal Jordanian Museum, theModern Art Museum in Tunisia, the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, the British Museum, The World Bank in Washington D.C., the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.Her work is permanently exhibited at Galerie Janine Rubeiz.