The simplicity of Etel Adnan’s paintings conceals the complex experiences of the artist’s remarkable life. Born in Lebanon in 1925 to a Greek mother and a Syrian father, Adnan grew up amid multiple cultures, languages, nationalities, and religions. In 1949 she went to Paris to study philosophy at the Sorbonne; she continued her studies at the University of California, Berkeley, starting in 1955. She taught philosophy at Dominican College in San Rafael, California, from 1958 to 1972, during which time she also started painting and writing poetry. Then she returned to Beirut, where from 1972 to 1976 she worked as the arts editor for two newspapers––hoping, as she put it, to make her own contribution to her country’s cultural awakening. In 1978 her novel Sitt Marie Rose was published in Paris and received the Prix de l’Amitié Franco-Arabe. She returned to California in 1979, but
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