Exhibitions: Ghada Amer

Words by
Lee Cassanell

5th May 2022

The Egyptian artist aims to reminds us that the battle of the sexes is still being fought. 

The Goodman Gallery in London is hosting Ghada Amer’s first solo show in London in twenty years. The exhibition titled ‘My Body My Choice’ 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.

Ghada Amer was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1963 and moved to Nice, France when she was eleven years old. After studying at various art institutes around the world,  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. 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 recently spoke about the inspiration behind her work: 

“In Western societies, there is an assumption, especially among the younger generations, that the battle of the sexes has been won, that women have been liberated, and that their rights are secure. And yet, we are witnessing today a sharp regression of women’s rights and a stark rise of violence against women. However, in countries where one assumes women’s rights to be limited or absent, such as in Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, or Mexico, women of the younger generation know they have a lot to gain from fighting for those very same rights that are eroding in the West. So they are not letting down their guard and they are continuing to fight fiercely.”