Ghada Amer (Arabic: غادة عامر, born 1963 in Cairo, Egypt) is a contemporary artist living and working in New York City. She emigrated from Egypt to the US at age 11 and was educated in Paris and Nice. Much of her work deals with issues of gender and sexuality, particularly the representation of female nudes in art history as ideal objects rather than human beings with a sexuality and eroticism of their own. Her most notable body of work involves highly layered embroidered paintings of women's bodies referencing pornographic imagery  She is represented by Cheim & Read Gallery.
While she describes herself as a painter and has won international recognition for her abstract canvases embroidered with erotic motifs, Ghada Amer is a multimedia artist whose body of work is infused with the same ideological and aesthetic concerns. Her work has been described as feminist  due to the way it challenges to the traditionally masculine genre of painting, and its rejection of the norms of female sexuality. Her oeuvre includes examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, and installation. Amer's multiple geographic relocations are reflected in her work. Her painting is influenced by the idea of shifting meanings and the appropriation of the languages of abstraction and expressionism. Her prints, drawings, and sculptures question cliché roles imposed on women; her garden projects connect embroidery and gardening as specifically "feminine" activities; and her recent installations address the current tumultuous political climate. Despite the differences between her Islamic upbringing and Western models of behavior, Amer's work addresses universal problems, such as the oppression of women, which are prevalent in all cultures. The submission of women to the tyranny of domestic life, the celebration of female sexuality and pleasure, the incomprehensibility of love, the foolishness of war and violence, and an overall quest for formal beauty, constitute the territory that she explores and expresses in her art.
Ghada Amer: Trini. 2005. Acrylic, embroidery and gel medium on canvas
167.6 x 200.7 cm
Le Salon Courbé, 2007