Painter Etel Adnan tot: Wanderin der Spheren

Born in Lebanon in 1925, Etel Adnan was at least as much a writer as a late-career painter. The special thing about her, however, was that both combined as happ

Painter Etel Adnan tot: Wanderin der Spheren

Born in Lebanon in 1925, Etel Adnan was at least as much a writer as a late-career painter. The special thing about her, however, was that both combined as happily as with only a few other writing artists. Her images rarely exceeded the size of a sheet of paper, and their content was similarly concentrated.

Stefan Trink's editor in the feature section.

Although the form always remained abstractly composed of purely geometric elements, it nevertheless allowed associations with landscape through horizon lines and hill–like formations - mostly Mount Tamalpais north of San Francisco, where she lived in the fifties– and then again since the seventies. Just as she sewed surreal metaphors together in her long poem "Arab Apocalypse", at Documenta 13 or in her London show "The Weight of the World", for example, black sun circles glowed in front of a rotor-like fire ground over scorched ground. As the apocalyptic already announces in her famous long poem, she dealt a lot with war, but knew how to interweave the horrors of the Lebanese Civil War with those of all other wars and also those of her adopted home USA, to globalize them to a certain extent.

In the same way, she implanted a latent sense of threat in her surreal landscapes, despite the bright red, yellow and green tones. The fact that she adored Paul Klee and his pictures of the Tunis trip throughout her life is revealed on "Talking Mountains", where the hills shine in their own colors like stained glass windows, but are contoured by Klee's calligraphic abbreviations. Black Suns Rising and Setting: View of Etel Adnan's exhibition "The Weight of the World" at London's Serpentine Gallery. : Bild: Picture Alliance

A small red rectangle shines out of many of Adnan's pictures as a signature, just as the sound of her texts, which artfully translate her Arabic mother tongue into English, is indicative. Even after her death on Sunday at the age of ninety-six, both will remain unforgotten not only in the Arab world.

Updated Date: 18 November 2021, 00:01

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