Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Art Paper #03

Paintings and quotations by Etel Adnan. Courtesy of Sfeir-Semler Gallery and the artist.

At the top of the poster shown above is an untitled painting, real size 35 x 45cm, made sometime between 1995 and the year 2000. It’s by Etel Adnan: essayist, novelist, journalist, poet, playwrite, painter, videographer and tapestry designer; philosophy graduate of the Sorbonne, Berkeley and Harvard; child of Beirut, born in 1925 to a Greek mother and Syrian father; and 89-year-old resident of Sausalito, California. She is currently being celebrated at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art with the retrospective show Etel Adnan in All Her Dimensions, curated by superstar Hans Ulrich Obrist. We wanted to show her paintings as large as our print space would allow, in the form of a poster that can be pulled out and kept. And we felt we had to quote from some of her writings that relate to her paintings, as she is so erudite and uplifting on the subject. Inside the back cover are sections from the first of her many manuscripts, a painted version of the Arabic poem Madinat Al Sindbad, by Badr Shakir al-Sayyab, reproduced my Mathaf for their current show. Obrist is fond of saying that Adnan should be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, according to Adnan’s gallerist Andrée Sfeir-Semler. The Nobel Prize has been awarded to women 45 times, out of 561 given in total; perhaps Adnan could raise it to 46.

[This text is an extract from What's Inside, the opening page of the Art Paper #03]