Etel Adnan’s career spanned several decades and encompassed a wide range of media—including painting, drawing, tapestry, film, ceramics, and leporello artist books—as it did traditions and locations. Adnan was first an author of poetry and prose, often addressing and protesting against the turmoil of the Vietnam War and the Lebanese Civil War. Informing her writing and later her artwork as well, was the landscape, its own history and her emotional and physical response to it. For Adnan, the landscape is mingled with memory, especially a sentiment of displacement, as she was born and raised in Lebanon, but lived, studied, and worked in France and California throughout her life.
In 2012, Adnan was included in Documenta (13) in Germany. Since then, numerous museums have presented solo exhibitions of the artist’s work, including the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2021); Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey (2021); Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg City (2019);
Aspen Museum of Art, Aspen, Colorado (2019); SFMoMA, California (2018); Zentrum Paul Klee, Switzerland (2018); MASS MoCA, Massachusetts (2018); Institute du Monde Arabe, France (2017); the Serpentine Gallery, England (2016); Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Switzerland (2016); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Ireland (2015); Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria (2014-2015); and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Qatar (2014). Adnan’s work is included in major public collections such as the British Museum, England; Centre Pompidou, France; Institut du Monde Arabe, France; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; M+, Hong Kong, China; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, Tunisia; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Adnan was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1925. She died in Paris, France in 2021.
Van Gogh Museum
May 20 – September 4, 2022
Galerie Lelong & Co., Paris
January 13 – March 12, 2022
Carré d'Art-Musée d'art contemporain
December 8, 2021 – March 13, 2022
November 6, 2021 – February 21, 2022
Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía
November 11, 2021 – February 28, 2022
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
New York City
October 8, 2021 – January 10, 2022
Venice Architecture Biennale 2021
May 22 – November 21, 2021
With Sarah Riggs
by Nancy Durrant