Museum in Motion - Etel Adnan


M HKA, Antwerp

16 September 2022 - 08 January 2023

Etel Adnan

Etel Adnan (1925–2021) was a Lebanese American poet, philosopher, essayist, novelist and visual artist who produced drawings, paintings, films and tapestries. Over several decades, the artist made an investigation of the relationship between nature and art her central point of focus. Adnan’s multi-linguistic practice traversed cultures and disciplines. For her, the act of drawing and writing was embedded in a deep engagement with the different aspects of human existence. In the 1960s, she began integrating Arabic calligraphy into her artworks and poetry books, influenced by hurufiyya — an aesthetic movement that emerged in the second half of the twentieth century amongst artists in Islamic regions of the world, who combined tradition and modernity in an attempt to develop a culturally specific visual language. Adnan’s drawing practice was also strongly inspired by Japanese leporello art. Floating between text and image, drawing and sculpture, and with an emphasis on colour and gesture, she made poems and landscapes on folded paper that can be presented as free-standing drawings.

Several works from this series were presented at M HKA in 2021, during the exhibition EURASIA − A Landscape of Mutability. The museum also possesses an extensive selection of Adnan’s writings and artist’s books.

Items View all

Actors View all