Hardback144 PagesSize: 280 × 240 mm
100 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781848222663Publication: September 01, 2018
Series: Contemporary Painters Series

'Etel Adnan's vivid and stark paintings explore elemental landscapes. Her oeuvre is born of a unique sense of place and displacement, and both infuse her paintings. Her art will appear to be both concrete and abstract, and might represent presence, or the presence of lost objects. As both a poet and a painter, Etel Adnan seeks to establish languages that entail the visual, say, fusing "son" and "sun". Her imagination is phenomenal.'
Lynne Tillman  

'Etel Adnan is an urgent voice for our times, whose work has been underpinned by an intense engagement with the world. This extraordinary new monograph on Adnan's work as a painter offers readers an unprecedented window into the breadth and steadfast commitment to making that characterizes Adnan's visionary work.'
Hans Ulrich Obrist   Artistic Director of Serpentine Galleries

'Author Kaelen Wilson-Goldie reveals the radical power of abstract painter Etel Adnan’s life and work in a new book.' – Shirine Saad, Hyperallergic


'In a new survey of the artist’s work, Etel Adnan, critic Kaelen Wilson-Goldie nimbly thinks across and between Adnan’s fraternal endeavors [poetry and painting]. Her descriptions of individual works are melodic, vivid set pieces in themselves, keeping steady rhythm with the nearly one hundred reproductions woven throughout the text.' – Corrine Fitzpatrick, Bookforum

'Reading this account, our experience of both Adnan’s painting and poetry can only be enriched.' – Isaac Nugent, Burlington Contemporary

Etel Adnan

Kaelen Wilson-Goldie


  • The first publication to explore in depth the genesis, drama and change in Etel Adnan's painting from its beginnings in 1959 to the present day
  • The first publication to establish and comprehensively explore the central place of Adnan's painting in relation to her writing and other forms of art making
  • Written with the full support of the artist by a leading authority on Adnan's work

Etel Adnan (b.1925) is a Lebanese-American poet, essayist and visual artist. This is the first book to present a full account of Adnan’s fascinating life and work, using the drama of her biography, the complexity of her identity, and the cosmopolitan nature of her experience to illuminate the many layers and dimensions of her paintings and their progress over several crucial decades.

Adnan came relatively late to painting - her first images were created in the late-1950s in response to the Californian landscape. Her vocabulary of lines, shapes and colours has changed little since then, and yet there are huge variations in mood, texture, composition and material. Similarly, there is a balance between understanding her paintings as pure abstractions, emulating the shape of thought, and seeing them for the actual landscapes of the many places Adnan has loved, embraced and responded to.

Tackling the complexities of her subject with skill and insight, Kaelen Wilson-Goldie unpacks Adnan's
multi-layered career to capture the full scope of her artistic endeavours and impressive achievements.  

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