Etel Adnan

Etel Adnan

Live Auction Lot

Etel Adnan has generously donated Sans Titre to raise money for Women for Women International at the She Inspires Art Live Auction.

Sans Titre
oil on canvas
32cm x 41cm
unique work

This piece is now available to view at Waddington Custot Galleries (by appointment). Please call the gallery on 0207 851 2206 to arrange a viewing.

Poet, short story writer, essayist, and artist, Etel Adnan is a major figure in contemporary culture. She was born to a Syrian Muslim father and a Greek Christian mother, and grew up among the landscapes of Lebanon and Syria before moving to France for a time, and then to the majestic plains of America. Considered one of the most important representatives of the Arab intellectual diaspora, Adnan is also a pioneer of women’s rights.

Etel Adnan (b. 1925 in Beirut) lives and works in Paris. She studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, Paris, University of California, Berkeley and Harvard.

From 1958–72, she taught philosophy at Dominican University of California, San Rafael, going on to work as a cultural editor for two daily newspapers in Beirut between 1972–76. Her novel about the Lebanese Civil War, Sitt Marie-Rose, was first published in 1977, winning the France-Pays Arabes Award, and has since been published in more than 10 languages.

Her work was recently presented in the solo exhibition ‘Etel Adnan in All Her Dimensions’ at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar (2014) and was included in the Whitney Biennial, New York (2014) and Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany (2013). In 2010, Adnan participated in the "Memory Marathon" at the Serpentine Gallery in London.  Adnan has received numerous awards for her contribution to culture, including, in 2014, France's highest cultural honour, the Ordre de Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.

Image courtesy of Galleria Continua (example of similar work by the artist and not the actual auction lot piece)

The works of Adnan are part of many private collections and museums around the world such as The Royal Jordanian Museum, Tunis Museum of Modern Art, Sursock Museum in Beirut, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, The British Museum, London, The World Bank Collection and The National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington DC.

Image courtesy of Galleria Continua (example of similar work by the artist and not the actual auction lot piece)

Adnan is known for her abstract landscape paintings – bold, colourful and expressive works that are intimate in scale. Painted from memory, landscapes (all untitled) are distilled into their definitive features: mountain, horizon and sky are represented as square masses or triangular, pyramidal shapes in thick, bright colours. A floating circular shape rendered in yellow, orange or green suggests a sun; bands of pure colour suggest sea or sand. Adnan works on a table, using a palette knife to apply oil paint onto the canvas – often directly from the tube – in firm swipes across the picture’s surface. These elemental colour field compositions exude an intense energy, recalling the block-like slabs of colour in the late French landscapes of Russian painter Nicolas de Staël. 

Represented by: 

You can view and bid on Sans Titre on Artsy until 15 September. 

Please contact Nicola Casey on for further details.

All images courtesy of Galleria Continua