Etel Adnan & Simone Fattal: a couple of artists

Artists are joined in live and in creativity and the exhibition presents their home and studio

Etel Adnan
Etel Adnan, 1985. Photo by Simone Fattal

Paintings and sculptures, but also books, poems and everyday items. Etel Adnan & Simone Fattal: Working Together, curated by Vincenzo de Bellis, is the first Italian double debut for the two work and life partners active from the Seventies. The exhibition is open till 5th November and tells about the intimate and domestic work of artists will find a home in the library of the Fondazione Dalle Nogare in Bolzano.

Simone Fattal e Etel Adnan: arte e letteratura

When did Etel Adnan and Simone Fattal meet togheter?

Adnan (Beirut, 1925–Paris, 2021) and Fattal (Damascus, 1942) met in Beirut in the Seventies. They have since then lived together between Paris, Beirut and North California, working and experimenting across media. Before turning to the visual arts, the duo devoted themselves to literature. Etel was a poet and a painter while Simone a sculptor and founder of Post-Apollo Press, a publishing house specialising in history, politics, social science and gender studies. The strength of the artists lies in the multidisciplinary nature of their oeuvre.The literary under tones permeating their work are an equally strong backbone. Their partnership feeds into their artistic practice. In Parisian apartment, Etel Adnan had her personal studio, where sheused to compose poetry and paint all at the same desk. Across the house, are the everyday items, ceramics and sculptures that Simone Fattal has realised in a studio not far from home.

A couple of artists

Over the years, it was with a certain frequency that the practice of the two artists crisscrossed and fused. The home is certainly the most intimate seat where these renewed encounters tookplace and the essence of artists is best preserved, both as individuals and as a couple. On these premises was born the choice of the Fondazione to turn the intimate environment of its library into an exhibition space for the first time. The warm thof the works on display is couched in a domestic space where in living room, library, kitchen anddining room all come together.


The exhibition comprises a wide selection of works: around thirty works by Etel Adnan, including paintings, tapestries, leporello sand drawings. Concerns also thirty works by Simone Fattal, ranging from sculptures to tapestries. Artworks blend with personal items, with books written by one artist and edited by the other, with books about the couple’s work,with books that influenced their practice and with books by authors whom the duo be friended.

Etel Adnan & Simone Fattal

The exhibition invites visitors to transcendmere looking in favour of reading and leafing through the booksand catalogues scattered around. The aim is toallow for a mimetic immersion into the life of artists while sipping tea or drinking coffee in one of the mugs realised by Simone Fattal herself. Etel Adnan & Simone Fattal: Working Together represents a unique endeavour for two mainreasons. First, it brings together the work of artists after Etel Adnan’s recent departure. Second,in a space devoted to the visual arts, it focuses on the role that literature played in the career of both artists. Concerns the influence that this had on their visual practice, individually andas a couple.

Press kit’s images.