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 entire body of work is infused with the same ideological and aesthetic concerns. 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. In the NYSun, Alix Finkelstein visits Amer’s retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum and reports that while Ms. Amer’s cross-disciplinary approach may be seen as a power struggle pitting the masculine muscularity of abstract painting against the feminine wiles of embroidery, Ms. Amer admires the grand gestural brushwork of Abstract Expressionists such as Robert Motherwell and Jackson Pollock. Amer views the unpredictability of the painting process as a necessary complement to the linear precision of embroidery. “Painting, for me, is expressionist,” Amer told Finkelstein. “It’s a moment. You don’t know when it will end. It’s not something you think about. It’s just that you are upset, happy, or whatever you are. You have a very strong feeling and you go with this. It’s messy and undefined. The thread is the total opposite of the paint. It’s extremely structured and meticulous and repetitive. I like the tension between the two mediums.” Read more.
“Ghada Amer: Love Has No End,“ organized by Maura Reilly. The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Through October 19.