Pera Museum's new exhibition brings together 60 years of work by artist and poet Etel Adnan
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Sunday, July 21, 2024

Pera Museum's new exhibition brings together 60 years of work by artist and poet Etel Adnan
Etel Adnan, Late Afternoon, 2020. Engraving, 35 Editions, 38 x 44 cm © Etel Adnan. Courtesy: Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris.

ISTANBUL.- Pera Museum presents the exhibition “Etel Adnan: Impossible Homecoming”, which brings together 60 years of work by artist and poet Etel Adnan, whose life spanned nearly a century. The exhibition can be visited through August 8, 2021.

Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Pera Museum’s new exhibition “Etel Adnan: Impossible Homecoming” brings the audience together with the versatile artist Etel Adnan. Curated by Serhan Ada and Simone Fattal, the exhibition reflects the rich identity of Etel Adnan who was born in Beirut in 1925 to a multilingual, multi-faith, and multi-cultural family and region. Never indifferent to the wars and political-social upheavals that beset her life, the artist uses writing and painting to create her works. The retrospective exhibition includes oil paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics, carpets, leporellos, and a film by the artist who “has mastered more than one medium.” Visitors can also listen to recorded interviews made with the artist at various points in her life. Etel Adnan opens up a rich area of discovery and interpretation for the audience with her seasons, landscapes, signs, imaginary planets and satellites in the sky, and impressive energy.

A poem written in colours

The daughter of a Smyrian Greek mother and an Ottoman officer born in Damascus, both of whom were isolated from their congregations because of their marriage, Etel Adnan has produced works that bear the traces of her roots. Co-curator of the exhibition “Impossible Homecoming” Serhan Ada points out that Etel Adnan’s identity has been shaped by migration, exile, and asylum and states that the exhibition is prepared with a holistic approach towards Adnan’s work. The curator says “Although we don’t always recognize it in disguise, poetry emerges before us out of other places. Etel’s essays seem to be just prose, but they are downright poetry, which has always been part of her paintings. And anyway, isn’t her entire visual opus a poem written in colours?” The exhibition’s co-curator Simone Fattal underlines that it’s not possible to understand Etel Adnan through a single aspect of hers and adds “Etel Adnan is a poet, a writer, a tapestry designer and a painter, and no single one of these facets is enough to do justice to her versatility. She has to be considered from all these aspects and they each need to be examined simultaneously.”

Migration, exile and the ghost of war

Born in 1925 in Beirut, Etel Adnan began her formal education in a French religious girls’ school. Later, as a young girl who had to work her way through school, she started to dabble in literature and read poetry in French, which she had learned at school. Then she received a scholarship, emigrated to Paris and studied Philosophy. The artist who later emigrated to the USA and continued her education in Berkeley and Harvard, returned to Beirut in 1972, to “an exile from an exile”, in her own words. War was looming on the horizon of the country she had left decades earlier. The war hadn’t ended yet when she left Beirut and returned again into voluntary exile to California. Since then, she has continued living between USA-Lebanon-France. Etel Adnan, who began painting much later than she had discovered her interest in literature, in 1959, started to exhibit paintings for the first time in art centres and galleries around San Francisco. After a while, she got interested in Leporellos (accordion-folded artist’s books) and tapestry weaving. She met Syrian artist Simone Fattal in Beirut while working at the newspaper Al Safa. Adnan started to share a studio with Fattal, and after a short while opened her first solo exhibition in Lebanon at Dar al-Fan, Beirut.

Etel Adnan begins every interview by telling who her mother and father were, which might be an indication of how intertwined her family’s past and her own identity is. When we take migration, exile, asylum and the memory of a long-gone Beirut into consideration, each work of the artist opens up to different interpretations. Having met art lovers in various countries and cities through biennials and exhibitions, Etel Adnan is now a guest in Istanbul with a comprehensive exhibition reflecting all her production periods.

Today's News

April 8, 2021


Couple who defaced $400,000 painting thought it was a public art project

Joan Mitchell's Untitled, 1989 to lead Hindman's May 4 Post War & Contemporary Art Auction

World's priciest painting not a full da Vinci, claims doc

The courtroom sketch: A piece of history, and art

Lippold's soaring Lincoln Center sculpture lands at La Guardia

Pera Museum's new exhibition brings together 60 years of work by artist and poet Etel Adnan

Christie's to present Live Sale of Prints & Multiples on 15-16 April

Tilton Gallery opens a solo exhibition of new sculpture by Kennedy Yanko

Betty Cuningham Gallery opens an exhibition of new paintings by John Lees

A Brooklyn artist wants sports fans to wear their names

Solo exhibition by Richard Rezac on view at Rhona Hoffman Gallery

The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU reopens its doors

1935 Lagonda M45 Rapide for sale at H&H Classics

Kyle Abraham's second act at City Ballet: Spare, wintry, abstract

'Nomadland' director Zhao not ready to make China childhood film

Russian director pulls film from festival over Navalny nomination

Bellmans to sell Laurie Norman Studio

Art Dubai 2021 leads the way back to normality

The 13th Shanghai Biennale announces participants for main exhibition

Africa's largest film festival rescheduled for October

At 91, John Cullum is ready to try something new

Lois Kirschenbaum, the ultimate opera superfan, dies at 88

How To Move Your Business During The Pandemic

Unresolved mysteries in football history

5 World-Famous Museums to Visit Online

5 Most Inspiring Automotive Artwork

Bespoke carpentry and wardrobes solutions Dublin

The Avant Garde in Art: Then and Now

House Cleaning Checklist

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful