Lebanese gallery Alice Mogabgab inaugurates its new Brussels space with a solo show of Etel Adnan

Sunday 13 January 2019, Alice Mogabgab Gallery, founded in Beirut in 1994, inaugurates its new Brussels space with the first solo exhibition in Belgium by Etel Adnan. 

Writer and artist Etel Adnan (°1925, Beiroet, Libanon) began painting in the early 1960s. Widely known for her poetry, novels and plays, she moves fluidly between the disciplines of writing and art and is a leading voice of contemporary Arab-American culture. The wide reputation of Etel Adnan’s work has in recent years reached undeniable international dimensions, reflecting its artistic and literary qualities as well as the many different facets of the artist’s personality.All her work – paintings, pencil and ink drawings, textiles, ceramics, calligraphy, leporellos – impresses us by its beauty and lightness of the forms and colours, and by the evident spontaneity of its creator, affirming the immediacy of her expressive desire as much as its gestation, says the author in his introduction. 

The exhibition Etel Adnan, encres, dessins, leporello presents two sets of work originating from private collections in Lebanon, acquired by the gallery over the last ten years. The first set, composed of thirteen ink and pencil drawings, is dedicated to the tree, the trunk and its crown. Whether it is a single tree, two or three together or a small wood, Adnan uses bold gestures when depicting this symbol of life. From uprooting to a celebration of the world, from rifts and tears to a final fulfilment, from writing to self-portraiture: "Each and every tree is a song", Adnan wrote in a poem published by Alice Mogabgab Gallery in 2017. 

The second set is entitled Forests. Thirteen diptychs painted with water colour and ink form a series presented in a leporello of an exceptional format, undoubtedly one of the largest ever produced by Etel Adnan. Here, the branches are replaced by explosions of colour, glorifying at once the tree and the painting. My paintings and drawings are a celebration of the world, writes the artist. 

Etel Adnan: encres, dessins, leporello
13 January - 2 March 2019
Galerie Alice Mogabgab
Rivoli - Espace 28
Chaussée de Waterloo 690, 1180 Brussels

Sunday 13 January 2019, 15.00 – 19.00
with a presentation of the exhibition by Michel Baudson at 16.00.

Micha Pycke