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Under the SkinFeminist Art and Art Histories from the Middle East and North Africa Today$
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Ceren Özpınar and Mary Kelly

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266748

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266748.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

Squares of Colour

Squares of Colour

Abstraction in the Work of Saloua Raouda Choucair and Etel Adnan

(p.87) 6 Squares of Colour
Under the Skin

Isabelle De Le Court

British Academy

This chapter explores the cultural position of two women artists, Saloua Raouda Choucair (1916–2017) and Etel Adnan (b.1925) in the second half of the 20th century in Lebanon. The strong presence of abstraction in their work calls for a reflection on materiality and abstraction, and on form and anti–form. Choucair and Adnan pioneered new ways of seeing, of thinking about art and its physical relationship to it through abstract aesthetics. Born in Lebanon, they have become significant artists who trained and lived abroad, while always keeping strong links to Lebanon. Their oeuvres present a reflection on the conflicted Western and Islamic heritage in Lebanon and in the Middle East at large. Although abstraction is no clear representation of female subjectivity, the use of abstraction as lived experience in Choucair’s and Adnan’s works serve to explore gender in Lebanon as a subjective and social context.

Keywords:   Lebanon, Women artists, Visibility, Abstract Painting, Saloua Raouda Choucair, Etel Adnan, Non–figurative art, Post–1950

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