Etel Adnan

TestSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2018

Etel Adnan (b. 1925, Lebanon), lives and works in Paris. Adnan is widely recognized as one of the foremost authors, poets and playwrights of her generation. Widely known for her literary work, she fluidly moves between the disciplines of writing and art.

Her paintings rose to prominence following their exhibition at dOCUMENTA 13 (2012); and she has had solo exhibitions at Mudam, Luxemburg (2019), SFMoMA, San Francisco (2018), Zentrum Paul Klee, Switzerland (2018), the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris (2016), UNAM, Mexico City (2017), Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (2016), Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2015), Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria (2014), and Mathaf, Doha (2014). As well as group exhibitions at Castello di Rivoli, Italy (2017), MoMa, New York (2017), Sharjah Biennial 12 (2015), the 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015), the Whitney Museum of Modern Art (2014).

She has works in private collections as well as many public collections around the world such as MoMa, New York, Centre Pompidou, Paris, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Kunstsammlung NRW, the Royal Jordanian Museum, LAM, Lille, Guggeneheim, Abu Dhabi, Mathaf, Qatar, the Sursock Museum in Beirut, the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, the British Museum in London, Kunsthaus Zurich, the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. Adnan also has tapestries in public spaces and private collections. Slides of her tapestries are in the permanent files of the Contemporary Crafts Museums of New York and Los Angeles.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2020 The uprising of colors, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
2019 Départ, Institute of Modern Art, Nuremberg, Germany
Etel Adnan et le Modernes, MUDAM, Luxemburg
2018 New Work: Etel Adnan, SFMOMA, San Francisco USA
Etel Adnan, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland
A Yellow Sun A Green Sun A Yellow Sun A Red Sun A Blue Sun, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Massachusetts, USA
2017 Album à dessins, UNAM Mexico City, Mexico
Sea and Fog, Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens, Ontario, Canada
2016 Paintings • Drawings • Tapestry • Writing, Sfeir-Semler Gallery Hamburg, Germany
Etel Adnan, Institut du monde arabe, Paris, France
Etel Adnan: The Weight of the World, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London, UK
2015 La joie de vivre, Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich, Switzerland
Etel Adnan, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland
2014 Writing Mountains, The Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria
Etel Adnan, Callicoon Fine Arts, New York, USA
Etel Adnan in All Her Dimensions, Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar
2013 Etel Adnan, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
Words and Places: Etel Adnan, Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, USA
Etel Adnan, Galleria Continua, San Giminiano, Italy
2012 Etel Adnan, Works 1965 - 2012, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Germany
2010 Etel Adnan, Paintings and Drawings, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
2007 Eileen Curtis Museum, Sausalito, California, USA
2006 Arte Mare, Bastia, Corsica, France
1998 Salazar Gallery, Univ. of California, Sonoma, California, USA
Etel Adnan, Darat al Funun, Amman, Jordan

Selected Group Exhibitions

2018 Lydia Cabrera and Édouard Glissant: Trembling Thinking, Americas Society, New York, USA
Acts of Translation, Mohammad and Mahera Abu Ghazaleh Foundation, Amman, Jordan
Hot Sun, Late Sun, Fondation Vincent Van Gogh, Arles, France
Garden of Memory, Musee Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech, Morocco
2017 Etel Adnan/Gerhard Richter, Flag Art Foundation, New York, USA
L’emozione dei COLORI nell’arte, Castello di Rivoli, Italy
Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction, MoMa, New York, USA
Delirium & Destiny, A Tale of a Tube, Rotterdam, Netherlands
WheredoIendyoubegin - On Secularity, Göteborg International Biennal of Contemporary Art, Sweden
Home Beirut. Sounding the Neighbors, MAXXI, Rome, Italy
From Ear to Ear to Ear, Nottingham Contemporary, UK
All the words for rock, Nature and Conflict, Visual Arts Center Fondacion Helga de Alvear, Caceres, Spain
Take Me (I’m Yours), Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, Milan, Italy
2016 Towards a Larger World, Moderna Museet, Malmö, Sweden
Looking at the World Around You, Fundación Santander, Madrid, Spain
do it, Darat al Funun, Amman, Jordan
2015 Etel Adnan: Selected Works, Sharjah Biennial 12, Sharjah, UAE
Liberated Subjects: Present Tense, Foundation de 11 Lijnen, Oudenburg, Belgium
14th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey
Interdependence, Manchester International Festival, Manchester, UK
Intimacy in Discourse, Mana Contemporary, New Jersey, USA
Nel Mezzo del Mezzo, Palazzo Riso - Museo d’Arte Contemporanea della Sicilia, Palermo, Italy
Follia Continua!, Le CENTQUATRE, Paris, France
Albert the kid is ghosting, The David Roberts Art Foundation, London, UK
Too Early, too late. Middle East and Modernity, Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna, Italy
Sharjah Biennial 12: the past, the present, the possible, Sharjah International Art Biennial, Sharjah
2014 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
Rose, CEAAC Centre Europeen D’Actions Artistiqes Contemporaines, Strasbourg, France
Extinction Marathon: Visions of the Future, Serpentine Sackler, Gallery, London, UK
Here and Elsewhere, New Museum, New York , USA
this secret world that exists right there in public, Rampa, Istanbul, Turkey
Was wir zeigen wollen, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg, Germany
The Sea - Salut D’honneur Jan Hoet, PMMK - Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Oostende, Belgium
What Remains: Part II, Rose Issa Porjects, London, UK
The Printed Room: read the room/you’ve got to, SALTS, Birsfelden, Switzerland
2013 Tajreed. A Selection of Arab Abstract Art. Part I 1908 – 1960, Contemporary Art Platform, Kuwait
Here, Elswhere / Ici, ailleurs, Marseille-Provence, France
Hiwar, Conversations in Amman, Darat al Funun, Ammanm Jordan
2012 dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, Germany
Art from Lebanon - Modern and Contemporary artists: 1880 – 1975, Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut, Lebanon
De Menocchio, nous savons beaucoup de choses, Bétonsalon, Paris, France
On the Edgware Road, Serpentine Gallery, London, United Kingdom
The Art of Friendship, New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut
2011 The Last Grand Tour, Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece
2009 Tafsir, Martin Gropius Bau Museum, Berlin, Germany
2007 5 Artists, Oriental Museum, Moscow, Russia
The Dance of Quill and Ink. Contemporary Art of the Middle East, L’Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia
2006 Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East, British Museum, London, UK
2004 Palacio Reale, Napoli, Italy
2003 Jordan National Gallery, Amman, Jordan
Musée Municipal de Thionville, France
2001 L’art du Livre Arabe, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris, France
1998 London Artists’ Book Fair, Barbican Center, London, UK
1997 Fine Arts Gallery, Univ, of Arkansas, Lafayette, Arkansas, USA
1996 André Demedthuis, Wielsbeke, Belgium
Book Art VIII, National Museeum for Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., USA
1995 Le Arie del Tempo, Studio Alaya, Genoa, Italy
Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, USA
1994 4 Women artists, Alif Gallery, Washington, D.C., USA
Forces of Change, National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington D.C., USA
1993 André Demedthuis, Wielsbeke, Belgium
1991 Unesco, Paris, France
20 ans, 20 artistes, L’Atelier, Rabat, Morocco; Mediatheque, Mureaux, France
Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France
1990 Evenements urbains, Grenoble, France
Villa Croce, Genoa, Italy

Museum Collections

  British Museum, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; M+, Hong Kong, China; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, Tunis; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Kunstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf; Royal Jordanian Museum, Amman; LAM, Lille, Villeneuve-d’Ascq; Guggeneheim, Abu Dhabi; Mathaf, Qatar; Sursock Museum, Beirut; Kunsthaus Zurich


  Sorbonne University, Paris, France
University of California, Berkeley, California
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts