Nana Asfour writes about the paintings of poet Etel Adnan, on view at Callicoon Fine Arts, New York, through October 28, 2012.
Asfour notes: "Etel’s paintings have a different sensibility than her writing. Her prose suggests a world of brutality and chaos. Her art has a cheerful, sunny disposition. 'Her writing is as fiercely complex and political as her paintings are serenely spare and personal,' Kaelen wrote in Frieze. At the reading Kaelen repeated a quote Etel once said about her writing and art. 'I write what I see, I paint what I am.' To me, she wrote: 'My writing and my paintings do not have a direct connection in my mind. But I am sure they influence each other in the measure that everything we do is linked to whatever we are, which includes whatever we have done or are doing. But in general, my writing is involved with history as it is made (but not only) and my painting is very much a reflection of my immense love for the world, the happiness to just be, for nature, and the forces that shape a landscape.' "