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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Etel Adnan

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Lenbachhaus / Munich / Art

“I write what I see; I paint what I am,” said the venerated poet, philosopher, activist, and painter Etel Adnan, who died in 2021 at the age of 96. Born in Beirut to a Greek mother and a Syrian father, Adnan was the product of many cultural forces. Over the course of her life she lived in France, Lebanon, and the United States; she was fluent in Arabic, Greek, and French. Adnan’s work, emerging from the convergence of Arab and Western worlds, became more politically potent following Algeria’s War of Independence, when she renounced writing in French and began to “paint in Arabic.” She believed the beauty of color was immediate and acutely pleasurable. Her abstract oil paintings are as vibrant as they are perceptive. She employed simple geometries to reflect profound spiritual and intellectual engagements with memory, nature, and the human spirit. Lenbachhaus celebrates the life of one of modernism’s most important figures. —Nyla Gilstrap

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Lenbachhaus Luisenstraße 33, 80333 München, Germany
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