Arts/Industry: Ghada Amer lets women shine in brass

Ghada Amer 10a

Egyptian-born contemporary artist Ghada Amer was one of our recent residents of the Arts/Industry program at Kohler, Wisconsin.Ghada Amer 11Ghada, a declared feminist, works and lives between Paris and New York. She spent her formative years in France where she attended Villa Arson in Nice to receive her degrees in art. Ghada’s interests always lay in the exploration of dichotomies of uneasy worlds: east and west, feminine and masculine, arts and craft.Ghada Amer 13 drawingWhile she is known for her highly layered embroidered paintings where she combines canvas and needlework, she took on a new medium at Kohler. Brass was the material of choice between 15 May and 4 August 2017 when she got enamored by the shiny medium.Ghada Amer 1 Brass workGhada considers herself as much a painter as a drawer, but above all, she loves to experiment. She also does not shy away from difficult subjects such as Islamic terrorism and especially the oppression of women all over the world. Ghada Amer 8 at workShe is known for her explicit feminine representations pushing general culture’s boundaries. As she fought to carve into the sand to let the metal through during the residency, she voices her concerns of inequalities in a strong, quiet voice.Ghada Amer 2 Arts/Industry workGhada works with her hands and uses them smartly and creatively to build depictions that are arresting and give pause – not only for feminists but for everyone to look at our world and strive for more freedom and balance.Ghada Amer 5 her handsThe Kohler Arts/Industry program allowed her to deepen her slab-based and flat-surface work and to bring out the drawings of women who have been with her the entire life. The body of work that she has created during the three months at the factory is a strong base for the future development of her artistic work.Ghada Amer 2 portrayedUntil 24 February 2018, she exhibits her work together with Reza Farkhondeh at the Goodman Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa.

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