Etel Adnan (1925-2021) was a Lebanese-American poet, essayist and visual artist. This is the first book to present a full account of Adnan’s fascinating life and work, using the drama of her biography, the complexity of her identity, and the cosmopolitan nature of her experience to illuminate the many layers and dimensions of her paintings and their progress over several crucial decades.
Adnan came relatively late to painting - her first images were created in the late-1950s in response to the Californian landscape. Her vocabulary of lines, shapes and colours changed little over time, and yet there are huge variations in mood, texture, composition and material. Similarly, there is a balance between understanding her paintings as pure abstractions, emulating the shape of thought, and seeing them for the actual landscapes of the many places Adnan loved, embraced and responded to.
Tackling the complexities of her subject with skill and insight, Kaelen Wilson-Goldie unpacks Adnan's multi-layered career to capture the full scope of her artistic endeavours and impressive achievements.