Ghada Amer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ghada Amer
Born 1963 (age 52–53)
Cairo, Egypt
Nationality Egyptian-American
Education Villa Arson EPIAR, Institut des Hautes Etudes en Art Plastique
Known for Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Installation, Performance

Ghada Amer (Arabic: غادة عامر‎, born 1963 in Cairo, Egypt) is a contemporary artist living and working in New York City. She emigrated from Egypt to the United States at age 11 and was educated in Paris and Nice.[1] Much of her work deals with issues of gender and sexuality. Her most notable body of work involves highly layered embroidered paintings of women's bodies referencing pornographic imagery.[2] She is represented by the Cheim & Read Gallery.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Amer was born in Cairo, Egypt and relocated with her family to France in 1974.[4] She studied painting at the Villa Arson EPIAR in Nice, where she received her MFA in 1989, and the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Art Plastique in Paris.[1]


A multimedia artist, Amer is known for her abstract canvases that combine painting with needlework.[1] Her work frequently addresses issues of femininity, sexuality, postcolonial identities, and Islamic culture.[5]

Her work has been described as feminist[6] due to the way it challenges the traditionally masculine genre of painting, and its rejection of the norms of female sexuality.[6] Her oeuvre includes examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, and installation.[7] Amer's multiple geographic relocations are reflected in her work. Her painting is influenced by the idea of shifting meanings and the appropriation of the languages of abstraction and expressionism. Her prints, drawings, and sculptures question cliché roles imposed on women; her garden projects connect embroidery and gardening as specifically "feminine" activities; and her recent installations address the current tumultuous political climate. Despite the differences between her Islamic upbringing and Western models of behavior, Amer's work addresses universal problems, such as the oppression of women, which are prevalent in many cultures. The submission of women to the tyranny of domestic life, the celebration of female sexuality and pleasure, the incomprehensibility of love, the foolishness of war and violence, and an overall quest for formal beauty, constitute the territory that she explores and expresses in her art.[8]

Notable exhibitions[edit]

Amer's work has been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions at such venues as Cheim & Read, New York; Deitch Projects, New York; the 2000 Whitney Biennial, New York; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; the 2000 Gwangju Biennale, South Korea; SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico; the 1999 Venice Biennale; the 1997 Johannesburg Biennale; Gagosian Gallery, London; and Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills.[3] She is the first Arab artist to have a one-person exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.[9] A detail of her work, Knotty but Nice, was used on the cover of the September 2006 issue of ARTnews magazine, as part of a focus on erotic art.[10]

In 2003, Amer's work was included in Looking Both Ways: Art of the Contemporary African Diaspora at The Museum for African Art in Queens.[11] In early 2008, a retrospective of her work was exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum of Art,[12] at the museum's Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. In the same year, she was featured in Chiara Clemente's documentary "Our City Dreams". In 2014 and 2015, her work was included in the traveling exhibition "The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists" curated by Simon Njami.[13]


Amer was awarded the UNESCO prize at the 1999 Venice Biennial.[9]

Public Collections[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Okeke-Agulu, Chika. "Amer, Ghada". Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Ghada Amer: Defusing the power of erotic images". New York Times Arts Review. 12 March 2007. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Ghada Amer". Cheim & Read. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Ghada Amer". Gagosian Gallery. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Auricchio, Laura (Winter 2001). "Works in Translation: Ghada Amer's Hybrid Pleasures". Art Journal. ISSN 0004-3249. 
  6. ^ a b Oguibe, Olu (1 Feb 2014). "Love and Desire: The Art of Ghada Amer". Third Text: 63–74. 
  7. ^ Enright, Robert; Walsh, Meeka (1 Feb 2014). "The Thread of Painting". Border Crossings: 24–37. 
  8. ^ Ozler, Levent (1 January 2008). "Ghada Amer: Love Has No End". Dexigner. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Winegar, Jessica (2004). Mattar, Philip, ed. Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa 1 (2nd ed.). New York: Macmillan Reference USA. p. 176. ISBN 978-0028657691. 
  10. ^ "September 2006". Art News. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Cotter, Holland (21 November 2003). "ART REVIEW; An African Diaspora Show Asks: What Is Africanness? What Is Diaspora?". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Rosenberg, Karen (June 20, 2008). "Art Review: Veiled or Naked: Scrutinizing Women’s Roles". New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "THE DIVINE COMEDY: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists". Exhibitions. Savannah College of Art and Design. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Ghada Amer: Biography". Brooklyn Museum. Retrieved 1 Feb 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Ghada Amer Website Biography. Retrieved 7 March 2015.

External links[edit]