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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

Etel Adnan: Light's New Measure

Oct 8, 2021 – Jan 10, 2022
1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128, USA

Discussing her artistic practice, the late poet and philosopher Etel Adnan, who died last November, explains, “It seems to me I write what I see, paint what I am.” Born in Beirut, in 1925, to a Syrian father and a Greek mother, Adnan lived in France, Lebanon, and the United States. While her essays analyzed war and issues of social justice, her paintings read like distillations of faith. She used a palette knife to place simple geometries on canvas, creating vibrant landscapes that sit between figuration and abstraction. In Untitled (2010), a circle of yellow floats above two horizontal stripes, one coral red, one pale blue—sun, land, water. Similar works, inspired by the view of Mount Tamalpais from Adnan’s home in Sausalito, California, are on view. —E.C.

Etel Adnan, Untitled, 2010 © Etel Adnan.

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