Ghada Amer is an Egyptian-born American painter, sculptor, illustrator, performer, garden designer, and installation artist. She went to United States at age 11 and had her education at Villa Arson, EPIAR Nice where she studied painting and received her MFA in 1989, and the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Art Plastique in Paris. Her work explores and expresses 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.
Ghada Amer became most famous for her highly layered embroidered erotic paintings, world politics and some of her antiwar artworks. 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.
I believe that all women should like their bodies and use them as tools of seduction.
Ghada Amer’s has used her work to talk about the traditional notions of cultural identity, abstraction, and religious fundamentalism and turns them on their heads. She currently lives and works in New York City.
Place of Birth: Cairo, Egypt
Date of Birth: 1963.
Her work has been described as feminist due to the way it challenges the traditionally masculine genre of painting, and its rejection of the norms of female sexuality. 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. She is the first Arab artist to have a one-person exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
Amer’s work has been featured in both solo and group exhibitions at:
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.
Looking Both Ways in 2003: Art of the Contemporary African Diaspora at The Museum for African Art in Queens.
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.