Women Artists from the Arab World: On the Discourse of Abstraction and Other Misconceptions

AWARE, 08.07.2022

Nadia Radwan


The years 2021 and 2022 have sadly witnessed the loss of three monuments of modern art from the Arab world: Etel Adnan (1925-2021), Gazbia Sirry (1925-2021) and Mona Saudi (1945-2022). Each of them has played a major role in opening new paths for engaging with contemporary art practices. Gazbia Sirry by defining the contours of Egyptian modern art, and Mona Saudi and Etel Adnan by engaging with abstraction, in Jordan and the United States, respectively. Their individual approaches have in common their engagement with international pictorial expressions, while at the same time referring to belonging or their diasporic condition.

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Samia Halaby, Third Spiral with Dark Center, 1970, oil on canvas, 167,5 x 167,5 cm, private collection, courtesy of the artist © Samia Halaby.