Ghada Amer

September 17 - October 23, 2004

Ghada Amer -
GHADA AMER
The Big Red Rose-RFGA, 2004
Acrylic, embroidery and gel medium on canvas, 72 x 64 inches (182.9 x 162.6 cm)

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Opening reception for the artist: Friday, September 17th 6 – 8pm


Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings, drawings and sculpture by New York based artist Ghada Amer. This is the first exhibition of her work in Los Angeles.

Born in 1963 in Cairo, Egypt, Amer grew up in the politically charged period that followed the Six-Day War. In 1974 Amer, along with her family moved to France where she studied art and received her M.F.A. at Beaux Arts in Nice.

During one of the artist's annual trips back to Egypt, Amer discovered Venus, a fashion magazine that appropriated images of western models and crudely superimposed short hair, hats or veils, and sleeves to depict modern Muslim women. This strange hybrid of French fashion and Islamic morality intrigued the artist. Amer began to use these images as a source for her work, which inspired her to think about the roles of women in contemporary society. As Amer's work developed, she began to lift images of women from pornographic magazines, embroidering them onto the canvas, a process also taking its cue from traditional women's roles.

From a distance, Amer's paintings may resemble those of Abstract Expressionism as the canvases are often painted with bold blocks and drips of color, but upon closer inspection, the delicate embroidery, meticulously applied and often repeated, creates a web of thread that slowly reveals itself. The loose threads dangle like paint drips down the canvas or are secured by gel medium to form intricate veils of color.

While Amer's previous paintings were more deliberate, patterned abstractions, the latest works have become much looser, both in paint and thread. The compositions are more multi-layered and the brushwork more complex. This exhibition will include new canvases as well as several works on paper and two sculptures.

A fully illustrated catalog will accompany the exhibition with an essay by A.M. Homes.