I believe that all women should like their bodies and use them as tools of seduction – Ghada Amer
Goodman Gallery presents My Body My Choice – Ghada Amer’s first solo show in London in twenty years. The exhibition brings together a new body of work, including Amer’s signature thread and canvas paintings as well as sculptures and a garden installation, never before realised in the UK.
Recognising that women are taught to model behaviours and traits shaped by others, and that art history and the history of painting in particular are shaped largely by expressions of masculinity, Amer’s work actively subverts these frameworks through aesthetics and content. Her practice explores the complicated nature of identity as it is developed through cultural and religious norms as well as personal longings and understandings of the self. Amer’s work addresses the ambiguous, transitory nature of the paradox that arises when searching for concrete definitions of East and West, feminine and masculine, art and craft. Through her paintings, sculptures and public garden projects, the artist takes traditional notions of cultural identity, abstraction, and religious fundamentalism and turns them on their heads.
Ghada Amer was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1963 and moved to Nice, France when she was eleven years old. She remained in France to further her education and completed both of her undergraduate requirements and MFA at Villa Arson École Nationale Supérieure in Nice (1989), during which she also studied abroad at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts in 1987. In 1991 she moved to Paris to complete a post-diploma at the Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques. Following early recognition in France, she was invited to the United States in 1996 for a residency at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She has since then been based in New York.
Amer’s wide-ranging practice spans painting, cast sculpture, ceramics, works on paper, and garden and mixed-media installations. Further, she often collaborates with her long-time friend Reza Farkhondeh. Recognising both that women are taught to model behaviors and traits shaped by others, and that art history and the history of painting in particular are shaped largely by expressions of masculinity, Amer’s work actively subverts these frameworks through both aesthetics and content. Her practice explores the complicated nature of identity as it is developed through cultural and religious norms as well as personal longings and understandings of the self.
Amer’s work is in public collections around the world including The Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah; the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, NY; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; the Guggenheim Museum, Abu Dhabi; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the Samsung Museum, Seoul; among others. Among invitations to prestigious group shows and biennials—such as the Whitney Biennial in 2000 and the Venice Biennales of 1999 (where she won the UNESCO Prize), 2005 and 2007—she was given a midcareer retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York in 2008. Multiple institutions across Marseille, France are currently co-organising a retrospective for 2022 that will travel to the United States and Asia.Download full CV