Lebanese artist Etel Adnan turned to painting as a form of expression that transcended language.
Etel Adnan was born in Beirut in 1925 to Greek and Syrian parents. She began her career as a poet and writer. However, she later shifted to painting as a means of expression not confined by France’s cultural imperialism as a demonstration of solidarity during the Algerian war of independence.
Adnan studied at Paris’s Sorbonne and later traveled to the US to pursue master’s degrees at Harvard and UC Berkeley. The head of London’s Serpentine Gallery told the Wall Street Journal that Adnan “is one of the most influential artists of the 21st century.”
She currently lives in Paris with her partner, the painter Simone Fattal.
Adnan’s work is on view as part of the New Skin exhibition at the Aïshti Foundation, Jal el Dib.