Exhibitions Now: Etel Adnan At Zentrum Paul Klee

BY Katrina Kufer / Jun 21 2018 / 12:24 PM

Seminal Lebanese artist, poet and philosopher Etel Adnan exhibits her works at Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland, in dialogue with Paul Klee’s works

Exhibitions Now: Etel Adnan At Zentrum Paul Klee
Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg / Beirut
Etel Adnan. Untitled. 2010. Oil on canvas. 24 x 30 cm.

Until 7 October, visitors will be able to explore the colour and form that compose Lebanese painter Etel Adnan’s abstract body of work over the last five decades at Zentrum Paul Klee. Widely regarded as one of the most important and impactful creative forces on modern Arab culture, Adnan has collaborated with curators Sébastien Délot and Fabienne Eggelhöfer to produce a special exhibition that places her compositions in dialogue with those of Swiss artist Paul Klee.

Klee was central to Adnan’s own artistic development. Following a period teaching philosophy in California where she utilised the writings of artists, Adnan came across Klee’s diaries. Moved by his words, use of space and rhythm, outdoor and cityscapes, works from his time in Tunisia—where Adnan also spent time—and Delacroix-esque approach to incorporating light, Adnan soon pursued exhibitions and museums where she could experience Klee’s paintings firsthand.

This exhibition focuses on Adnan’s incorporation of poetry and calligraphy in her fields of subdued hues and amorphous shapes. It also draws connections to Klee’s interest in Chinese calligraphy. Finding common ground with Klee’s shared use of rhythm in his paintings and writings, the incorporation of spirituality, as well as a small canvas format, visitors will also encounter a choice selection of Adnan’s texts from publications such as Master of the Eclipse (2009) related to Klee that have been put up on the walls as statements to help illustrate the unfolding aesthetic and conceptual journey between the two modernist artists. Zpk.org