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Lebanese-American Artist Etel Adnan Honored With Google Doodle


Google users in the United States, Lebanon, the United Kingdom, Egypt, and select countries celebrated Etel Adnan today, April 15, on the search engine’s homepage with a brightly colored “Doodle” honoring the late Lebanese-American poet, journalist, and visual artist. The artwork was created by animator and filmmaker Olivia Huynh.

Born in Beirut to Greek and Turkish parents, Adnan passed away in 2021 at the age of 96. The Google Doodle shows the artist writing in her studio, surrounded by her distinctively abstract landscape paintings alluding to mountain ridges and the sun over the horizon — elements inspired by her time in California and Lebanon that appeared frequently throughout Adnan’s oeuvre.

In addition to recognizing her literary achievements, the graphic illustration also features references to her leporello works (accordion-style printed materials with alternating folds) and her strong connection to her Lebanese heritage, as displayed through the inclusion of the nation’s flag in the background. 

Although Adnan spent many years of her life living in the US and France, she always retained strong ties to her home country. She met her life-long partner Simone Fattal in 1972 after returning to Beirut to work as a journalist, but was forced to flee to Paris three years later when civil war broke out. She based her best-selling novel Sitt Marie Rose (1978) on the true story of Marie Rose Boulos, who was abducted and executed by a Christian militiaman.

Rendered in a prismatic color palette synonymous with her artistry, the Doodle was timed with the 69th anniversary of her first solo exhibition, held in San Rafael, California, where she taught art at the Dominican University from 1958 to 1972. In late 2021 to early 2022, the artist was the subject of an expansive Guggenheim Museum survey, Light’s New Measure. Her works will be on view in the Central Pavilion exhibition of this year’s Venice Biennale, opening April 20.



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