Ghada Amer

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Ghada Amer
Born 1963 (age 51–52)
Cairo, Egypt
Nationality Egyptian-American
Education MFA, Villa Arson EPIAR in Nice, France
Known for Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Installation, Performance
Awards Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant
Venice Biennale UNESCO Award

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 US at age 11 and was educated in Paris and Nice.[2] Much of her work deals with issues of gender and sexuality, particularly the representation of female nudes in art history as ideal objects rather than human beings with a sexuality and eroticism of their own.[3] Her most notable body of work involves highly layered embroidered paintings of women's bodies referencing pornographic imagery [4] She is represented by Cheim & Read Gallery.[5]


While she describes herself as a painter and has won international recognition for her abstract canvases embroidered with erotic motifs, Ghada Amer is a multimedia artist whose body of work is infused with the same ideological and aesthetic concerns. Her work has been described as feminist [6] due to the way it challenges to 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 [3], 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, NM; the 1999 Venice Biennale; the 1997 Johannesburg Biennale; Gagosian Gallery, London and Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills.[9] She is the first Arab artist to have a one-person exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.[10] A detail of her work, Knotty but Nice was used on the cover of the September 2006 cover of ARTnews magazine, as part of a focus on erotic art.[11] In 2003, Amer's work was included inLooking Both Ways: Art of the Contemporary African Diaspora, at The Museum for African Art in Queens.[12] In early 2008, a retrospective of her work was exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, 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". "The Divine Comedy - Heaven, Hell, Purgatory revisited by Contemporary African Artists," March-June 2014 [13]

Major collections[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Ghada Amer: Biography". Brooklyn Museum. Retrieved 1 Feb 2014. 
  2. ^ Amer earned a BFA in 1986 and an MFA in 1989 from École Pilote Internationale d'Art et de Recherche, Villa Arson, Nice, France. Magazine Reviews - Into Africa
  3. ^ Art Journal, Winter 2001 issue, interview with Laura Auricchio, online at [1]
  4. ^ "Ghada Amer: Defusing the power of erotic images". New York Times Arts Review. 12 March 2007. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ a b Oguibe, Ola (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. ^ Dexigner online journal. January 2001
  9. ^ Cheim & Read - Ghada Amer
  10. ^
  11. ^ September 2006 ARTnews issue summary
  12. ^ New York Times art review: An African Diaspora Show Asks: What Is Africanness? What Is Diaspora?
  13. ^

External links[edit]