Leporello is the name of Don Giovanni’s valet in Mozart’s opera. He is the one who unfolds a booklet on which are listed the “mille e tre” mistresses of the seducer. By analogy, in Europe this name has been given to small booklets folded in concertina on which Asian artists, Japanese in particular, like to write and draw with ink. This tradition has been adopted by some western artists.
Etel Adnan has long been an adept of this art, since her encounter with Rick Barton at the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco. Either she copies out the poems composed by her writer friends, and illustrates them with water colour or ink, or she repeats a selection of words like a litany, or she simply uses India Ink or gouache to draw what she can sees. This exhibition is the first to be entirely dedicated to the artist’s leporellos. On this occasion, two books will be showcased: Etel Adnan, Leporellos, with texts by Etel Adnan, Anne Moeglin-Delcroix and Jean Frémon. Etel Adnan, Un printemps inattendu, a compendium of interviews given by Etel Adnan between 1983 and 2018. The artist’s latest prints will be exhibited at the bookshop.
Etel Adnan was born in Beirut in 1925. After spending much of her life in San Francisco, she moved to Paris. Her work has acquired an international reputation since it was presented at the Documenta in Kassel in 2012. In recent years, there have been many exhibitions of her work in the leading museums of Europe and the United States.