Etel Adnan: Vibrant Landscapes

Etel Adnan is a Lebanese-American poet, essayist and visual artist. Born in 1925, she grew up in Beirut, Lebanon before moving to California and then France. 

Adnan came relatively late to painting, her first images created in the late-1950s, influenced by Californian landscapes. Throughout her career as an artist she has used many different media to create her work, including painting, drawing, film, tapestry, ceramics and leporellos — a illustration folded into an accordion-style pleat. 

Adnan's work is often very vibrant, making use of abstract shapes to describe the landscapes she has encountered as well as figurative lines to articulate form and tone. Despite her vocabulary of shape, colour and line changing little since her early work, there is much evidence of changes in mood, composition, texture and material — from the light washes of her watercolours to the strong, thicker texture of her oil paintings. 

Later this month, we will be publishing a monograph on Etel Adnan as part of our Contemporary Painters series

The book is the first 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, author Kaelen Wilson-Goldie unpacks Adnan's multi-layered career to capture the full scope of her artistic endeavours and impressive achievements.  

You can preorder a copy of Etel Adnan from our UK and US sites. 


Previous titles in our Contemporary Painters series:

Thomas Nozkowski by John Yau

Lois Dodd by Faye Hirsch

Philip Taaffe by John Yau

If you would like to keep up-to-date with news, exhibitions and events associated with this series, please visit our microsite at