Ghada Amer embodies an artistic practice characterized by cross-cultural and interdisciplinary dialogue. Her newest sculptural work is in keeping with this philosophy, exploring themes of politics and sexuality, alongside formal concerns. Embracing both the body and language as twin avenues to explore the human condition, her work is at once playful, erotic, and poetic. The sculptures mix all of these qualities in powerful works that can be experienced by a viewer in two dimensions and three dimensions. In many ways Amer’s mastery of the line in her paintings has informed her new sculptures. In works such as The Blue Bra Girls, the viewer’s eyes trace the content of the object continuously, a restlessness that gives the work tremendous power. The artist began this series with the sculpture 100 Words of Love, wanting to “make a hollow sculpture where shadow is as important as the object.”* This desire to conflate inside and outside, private and public, frames Amer’s strong interest in social relationships and the way culture and popular imagery govern social norms. The Blue Bra Girls is a powerful response to the current social upheaval in Egypt. Racked by months of violent protest and the eventual collapse of the Mubarak government, Egypt’s women came to play a significant role in advocating for change, often risking physical violence. One such activist was filmed being beaten and stripped of her clothes, leaving her blue bra exposed – footage that shocked the world. Amer wanted to make a work that honored women’s bravery.
b. 1963, Cairo, Egypt
Lives and works in New York. Moved to France with her parents in 1974 and began her artistic training ten years later at Villa Arson, Nice, France. She currently lives and works in New York. Amer’s work has been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions such as the Venice Biennial, the Whitney Biennial, the Brooklyn Museum, Museo d’ Arte Contemporanea Roma, and Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Her works are included in many prestigious collections, such as the Art Institute of Chicago; Israeli Museum, Jerusalem; Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; Guggenheim, Abu Dhabi and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, among others.