The Zentrum Paul Klee is opening its doors to Etel Adnan, a unique exhibition that was organized in close collaboration with this outstanding poetess, artist, and philosopher. Etel Adnan’s work is a combination of not only intensely lyrical, vibrantly colourful paintings, concertina leaflets, and works on paper but also a film piece and large-format tapestries.
With her participation at dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012, the now 93-year-old Lebanese artist all of a sudden has become known to an international audience. Etel Adnan now lives in France and is a leading protagonist of Arab modernism. At first, she discovered Paul Klee through his diaries in the 1960s. His work and his texts made a lasting impression on her artistic work. The exhibition at the Zentrum Paul Klee unfolds a dialogue between the work of Etel Adnan and Paul Klee.
Etel Adnan’s biography is defined by a multi-cultural environment. She was born in 1925 in Beirut, in French-occupied Lebanon. Her mother is a Greek Christian and her father a Muslim Syrian. Etel Adnan later studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and at Berkeley and Harvard in the United States. From this time onward, San Francisco Bay, Beirut, and Paris were all equally her home. Her origins, family, and the history of the Middle East are especially present in her literary work. As early as the 1970s, she acquired international renown with her philosophical essays, novels, poems, and journalistic texts, becoming a leading figure in Arabic literature.