beirut

View of “Etal Adnan,” 2013. Foreground: Untitled 1, 2013.

Etel Adnan

Sfeir-Semler Gallery | Beirut

View of “Etal Adnan,” 2013. Foreground: Untitled 1, 2013.

The two great subjects of Etel Adnan’s paintings are a mountain in California and the Mediterranean Sea. For the past six decades, she has returned to them again and again, playing with the endless possibilities that color, texture, and a palette knife lend to her diminutive geometric abstractions of a peak and a horizon line. The most whimsical thing about her recent exhibition in Beirut, however, was neither Mount Tamalpais in Marin County nor the curve of the Levantine coastline. Rather, it was the way the sun and the moon slipped into those familiar landscapes and then seemed to follow viewers around the space. A sequence of thirty-one small canvases—all Untitled and painted in the past two years—lined the eastern and southern walls of the gallery. Almost every single work featured a full, gorgeous orb signaling day or night in a vividly rendered sky. Hung at regular

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