08 July 2016

Etel Adnan: The Weight of the World

Etel Adnan (b.1925 in Beirut) started to paint while teaching philosophy at the University of California in the 1950s, after studying at the Sorbonne and Harvard.

Her early works were largely abstract, squares of colour applied directly from the tube. She was interested in the immediate beauty of colour, and these works focus on the tension between colour, landscape, architecture, abstraction.  Mount Tamalpais in California - she moved to the area, north of San Francisco, in the 1970s - became the subject matter of many paintings, some of which are on show. "It was my point of reference, it was like a pole," she says, "when I saw it I felt at home." Not just a physical landmark, "emotionally also".
Hero (via)
Mountain (2012)
"From the 1960s until the present day Adnan has also made tapestries, inspired by the feeling and colour of the Persian rugs of her childhood. Never translating existing paintings into tapestries, she uses specific designs for her textile works. Over the course of the 1960s, Adnan moved away from purely abstract forms and, in 1964, discovered ‘leporellos’, accordion-folded sketchbooks in which she could mix drawing with writing and poetry. Often working in series, her painting continued to move between recognisable and imagined forms, revealing her sensitivity to colour and shape extracted from the environments in which she found herself." (from the gallery website, where you can see a video overview of the show)
The tapestries are the largest works in the show
The leporellos in the show fall into two categories - purely visual, and text-based.
Note the large screen in the background

New York, May 20th, 1990
The works from 1995-2014 are much smaller in scale than the earlier works; some are composed around red squares, others around horizon lines and things that could be suns or moons -
 The red colour is where she starts - "I don't know why, it's my instinct. But often I make an effort ... otherwise there would be a red square in every one of them."
Untitled, 1964
A group of 20 works, painted specifically for the exhibition, are called The Weight of the World -
(via)
The show runs till 11 September at Serpentine Sackler Gallery. At "the old Serpentine" is Alex Katz, and this year the Pavilion -
is joined by four Summer Houses this year. (Haven't seen them yet.)

2 comments:

casilda garcía archilla said...

Muy interesante. Gracias por mostrarlo

casilda garcía archilla said...

Muy interesante. Gracias por mostrarlo