Soleil d'ombre | 2022
Wool Tapestry, handwoven in aubusson . 144 x 202 cm. Edition 1/3 From a Tapestry draft of 1960s
Sun is the subject – alongside with Sea – of Etel Adnan’s first poem, written in 1949. In an interview with Bidoun magazine she said: “As a child, I had a strong sense of the presence of the sun. In the summer, the sun is very vivid in Beirut. I was fascinated by the shadow my own body made, when going for an afternoon swim. In my twenties, I heard the French say that Arabs were the children of the sun (les enfants du soleil).”
Sun comes as a recurrent element in Etel Adnan’s paintings, drawings and writings. In the meantime, Adnan incorporated the notion of a shadow – or dark – sun that is the subject of the present tapestry based on a preparatory drawing executed in the 1960s’. After the terrifying events of the Lebanese war including the siege of Tall el Zaatar Palestinian Camp, she wrote The Arab Apocalypse, a book-length poem that starts with: “A Yellow Sun A Green Sun A Yellow Sun A Red Sun A Blue Sun” before confronting “A Yellow Sun” with “A Black Sun”
Etel Adnan grew an interest for tapestry after a visit at Musée de Cluny in Paris where is exhibited the 'Lady and the Unicorn' and a trip at the weaving school Ramses Wissa Wassef established near Cairo. Tapestry became one of her three consistent visual practices, the two others being leporellos and paintings.
Biography of the artist
Born in Lebanon. 1925
Died in Paris. 2021
Works and Lives in Paris, France
Etel Adnan is a Lebanese-American poet, essayist, and visual artist. In 2003, Adnan was named "arguably the most celebrated and accomplished Arab American author writing today" by the academic journal MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States.
She studied literature at the Sorbonne, Paris, at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., and Berkeley University and went on to teach philosophy of art at the Dominican University of California.
Adnan has held solo and group exhibitions in the USA, Jordan, Morocco, France, Belgium, Italy, UK, Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. Etel Adnan‘s work has been acquired by private collections as well as by the Royal Jordanian Museum, the Modern Art Museum in Tunisia, the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, the British Museum, The World Bank in Washington D.C., and the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.
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