Untitled by Etel Adnan

“When I do a painting it may be like a landscape, but there is more to it,” she continues. “You don’t recognize what landscape it is, as it is not a particular landscape – it is maybe a memory of a particular landscape. I lived in California for most of my life and I loved it, so my paintings are homages to those memories, to the beauty of them.”

She paints, primarily, because she enjoys it. “I love the pleasure of painting and why shouldn’t I be happy? I think that is why people sometimes don’t like artists: they see that they are happier than they are themselves. In fact they are not more happy – in their everyday life they may have big tragedies, but the act of making art is happy. It is a liberating gesture.” Happiness, for Adnan, is political. “Art has a political function in the sense that it brings something life-enhancing, a desire for life.”
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