An artist, poet and essayist, Etel Adnan (1925 – 2021) was born in Beirut. She studied philosophy at the Sorbonne in 1949, before leaving France in 1955 to pursue graduate studies at Berkeley and Harvard.
In the 1960s, Adnan worked with accordion-like Japanese books or ‘leporellos’ that melded text and symbols, transcribing poems on unfolding urban landscapes within these structures. Adnan is also renowned for her colourful semi-abstract oil paintings, mostly depicting mountains and sun.
Her artworks feature in numerous collections and in museums, including at: the Centre Pompidou; the Royal Jordanian Museum; the Tunis Modern Art Museum; the Institut du Monde Arabe; the British Museum; and the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington DC.