An exhibition by Lebanese-born artist and writer Etel Adnan opens today at Galerie Lelong. The exhibition runs through May 9, 2015.


Etel Adnan’s work has been widely exhibited but she has enjoyed something of a revival in recent years as this article in the Wall Street Journal notes: “The fact that artistic renown has descended upon a nonagenarian woman who paints tiny abstractions and writes poetry and prose of quiet force and complexity might seem like a historical accident.”


Adnan has said that “light is everything for me,” and the sunlight expressed in her paintings and other works is often symbolized by a red rectangle or square. Having left home at an early age, Adnan’s interest in and exploration of physical and emotional diaspora is evident throughout her work, with the concept of returning to a place strengthened through memory. As one of the most important voices in Arab and Arab-American literature, Adnan’s accordion-fold books (leporellos) fuse her visual and linguistic prowess, which Galerie Lelong will present along with one of the artist’s tapestries. Translating the rich colors and delicate sensory shifts of her paintings and works on paper to wool, Adnan’s tapestries recall the vibrant Persian rugs of her childhood.

Etel Adnan at the Extinction Marathon: Visions of the Future from Serpentine Galleries on Vimeo.

Etel Adnan – Reading From The Arab Apocalypse from Serpentine Galleries on Vimeo.

Etel Adnan – The Spring Flowers Own from Serpentine Galleries on Vimeo.

Gavin Bryars and Etel Adnan – Five senses for one death from Serpentine Galleries on Vimeo.

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