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 Ghada Amer  (1963 - )

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Lived/Active: New York / Egypt      Known for: female eroticism-hand embroidered painting

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AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Gagosian Gallery:
Ghada Amer was born in Cairo in 1963; she now lives and works in New York.  Viewing Amer's hand-embroidered paintings, with their delicate traceries of stray threads, involves a visual shift, as what appears to be a mass of abstract lines gradually comes into focus as highly erotic figures, displayed in a repetitive pattern.  The work refuses to bow to the puritanical elements of both Western and Islamic culture, and what could be called "institutionalized feminism," with its own persistent myth of feminine virtue.

Curator Valerie Cassel, part of the six-person team to select Ms. Amer for the Whitney Biennial 2000, says in a recent New York Times review of Amer's work that Amer subdues and overpowers the male-dominated language of Abstract Expression by sewing on top of it.  Amer's embroidery of nude female images taken from pornographic magazines has a similar overpowering effect. According to Cassel:

"When we see those images in her paintings, we feel as if we've accidentally walked into a woman's boudoir, where she's pleasuring herself, rather than looking at something primarily designed and distributed for a male eye."

Amer's work has been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions at such venues as Deitch Projects, New York; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; the 2000 Whitney Biennial, New York; P.S. 1, New York; the 2000 Kwangju Biennial, South Korea; SITE Sante Fe, NM; the 1999 Venice Biennale; the 1997 Johannesburg Biennale; and Gagosian Gallery, London. 2004 marked her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles when her show opened at Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills.

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