For the first time in Addis Ababa, a massive art fair is offering contemporary Ethiopian art for sale to collectors and first-time buyers. Some 1 000m² of floor space at Boles Millennium hall is filled with a great visual feast with the inauguration of the four day Addis Art Fair, running from 15 to 18 March. The art showcase included its range of traditional works, like paintings, drawings and sculptures, as well as patchwork, installations, print and ceramics pieces from both established and promising newcomer artists.
Lela Art Gallery will present a retrospective of the work of Zerihun Yetmegeta in a new exhibition opening Saturday, April 20. “Yekelebet Menged” (Ring Road) will run through May 12th at LeLa Contemporary art Gallery in Addis Ababa. Zerihun is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential artists in contemporary Ethiopian art, in a career that spans almost five decades.
“Zerihun explores for the past 50 years the visualization of space by creating an illusion of depth and engages the viewer in the game of seeking recognizable imagery and inventing his own visual chronicle,” an associate curator, Leo Lefort said.
The exhibition will feature black and white paintings, prints, drawings which according to the curator “allude to the textural quality of sculpture -equating Paul Klee or Pierre Soulages- suggesting a third dimension where there is only the flat surface of the canvas.”
As Leo noted, “Like a distant mirage, the viewer is drawn into the works of Zerihun, wanting to explore the multiple layers of information: referring to symbols, gods and Saints, motifs inherited from magic scrolls, Akan akua’ba figure from Ghana or King Ezana.”
The exhibition will explore dominant themes throughout Zerihun’s career, including mythology and fiction, anthropology and truth, illusion, duality, myth, and fairy tale. “The irradiation of color and the absence of a precise narrative,” will be the main feature of the show, according to the curator.
For more, go to LeLa Art Gallery website.
Talismanic art is a touchstone of traditional Ethiopian art. Drawing on various roots – and with visual similarities to mandalas and calligraphy -the pieces have been used as healing tools, and are also sometimes called magic scrolls.
Mezgebu is a direct descendant of this tradition. His father, Gera, was a leading exponent and master of this idiom.
Gera was described as a “sage, a true icon who lives in a universe inhabited by angels and demons in a perpetual combat for good and evil”
Mezgebu, trained in the technique and knowledge by his father, builds on his familial traditions and the larger Ethiopian talismanic tradition in creating his works.
A show at LeLa Art Gallery in Addis Ababa presents Mezgebu’s fresh and different approaches to this tradition. Building on tradition while searching for new forms of expression within a traditionally circumscribed form; these pieces are both homage to the genre and a break from it, trying to expose this art form to a wider audience.
Born in 1980, Mezgebu lives and works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He has exhibited in Ethiopia, France, and Italy.
Saturday October 6th 2012, from 3pm onward.
Exhibition runs till October 28th 2012.
For more info LeLa Art Gallery web
Daniel Taye’s Oil Baron, an exhibit of 25 paintings is on view at the Lela Art Gallery from September 15 through September 30, 2012.Daniel who is best known for his portraits and landscapes is admired by art lovers and fellow artists. The artist who a few years ago reportedly suffered bouts of depression, alcoholism and an inability to paint has been fighting against all his hurdles and working up right to the end. With the help of his girlfriend (whose beautiful portrait he has done for this year’s Art of Ethiopia) who is encouraging him to keep painting, Daniel is getting back his momentum and producing high technical standards like those he did before.
An exhibition of paintings by Ethiopian artist Daniel Taye opens to the public this weekend at LeLa Art Gallery. Oil Baron is a collection of new landscape and figure paintings by the Addis-born artist. Graduated with distinction from the painting department of the Addis Ababa Fine Arts School in the mid 80’s, Daniel is known for his evocative landscape and figurative work. He was once named by CNN as the “Van Gogh of Africa…”.
Born on 5th January 1968, Daniel grew up closely involved with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and eventually became deacon. From 1990 until 1993, he worked for the Ministry of Mining on the Gold mine Documentation Project. He has seen his work exhibited in Ethiopia as well as several major cities in the USA, Netherlands.
Lilly Sahle, Director of the art gallery says that Daniel’s mind and body work at a very rapid pace. “Intense emotions dwell in his eyes, in his paintings, in his sketches & in this very show featuring mostly recent works, but also allowing the audience to revisit some key pieces from the past ten years,” she says.
The exhibit will open Saturday September 15, from 3pm onward at the LeLa Art Gallery located in Armed Forces Hospital area.
Location: From ring road direction Jimma, take the first right after the Armed Forces Hospital (old Airport) on China Embassy/ Ghana Embassy/ Swedish Clinic road – go down, pass Ghana Embassy approx. 200 mtrs make a right and follow the LeLa sign
Ethiopian artists converged at Jazz Amba Lounge in Taitu Hotel on the 12th May 2012 to launch the Ethiopia Chapter of Arterial Network. Arterial Network is an African civil society network active in the continent’s creative sector to develop and promote the arts and culture (music, dance, theatre, literature, heritage, film, visual arts, craft, etc.) in their own rights, as well as in a manner that contributes to democracy, human rights and development.
Around 150 participants from a cross-section of the arts came together at Jazz Amba to form the network’s Ethiopia Chapter, making it the 38th to be launched on the continent. Coordinated by an organizing committee of volunteer-members comprising of the Interim Country Representative, Munit Mesfin and Daniel Tamrat, Mikias Hailu, Mohammed Kassa and Nebiyou Tekalign, the formalized country chapter came into existence after conducting a number meetings to introduce the idea to key members of the arts and culture community. Read more…
Exploring issue of environmental sustainability in a visual art has been around the corner for some time and one Ethiopian artist found inspiration to create a unique work of art in what some people may consider “garbage”.
Tewodros Bekele is one of the artists exhibiting his work as part of the 2012 edition of Fana Wogi Open Call, an event that is now held every year. Using found objects and throwaway treasures, the Addis-based experimental artist is displaying works with the themes and imagery of nature and society. A series of the artist’s meticulously decorated sculptures made from plastic water bottles have filled the gallery of the Modern Art Museum/ Gebre Kristos Desta Center.The artist gives the plastic a melting, almost alluring luminosity and the fluid surfaces of his sculptures seem to welcome not just the embrace of light but also the caress of the viewer’s hand.By exploring size and scale, the natural world and the urban environment, Tewodros invites his audience to question ways of seeing and experiencing art. Read more…
A major new exhibition showcasing one of Ethiopia’s most exciting contemporary artists is to open at Lela Art Gallery, Addis Ababa on Saturday May 5th. Curated by Leo Lefort and supported by Castel Beer, the exhibition includes a collection of works by the prominent professional studio artist living and working in Addis Ababa.
Over the years, Tibebe has exhibited at various galleries and institutes in Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa and Harar. His work has also been exhibited internationally in Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and the U.S.A. In Canada, he gained popularity during many residency programs he participated in at St Norbert’s Art Center in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
An eventful exhibition, “Transitory”, showing experimental developments of two young Ethiopian artists, Ermias Mazengia and Eyob Kitaba, is on display at Lela Gallery. The exhibition, handsomely installed by the Addis-based French curator Leo Lefort, displays technically accomplished and dazzlingly colorful works. The title of this show, proposed by Eyob refers to the forms of the two artist’s transitory visions and exchange of thoughts, ideas, and concepts. Close friends for about twenty years, the artists say their relationship has been nurtured by continuous dialogues, interactions and fighting with ideas. Both grew up in the same area in Addis Ababa and studied at the Fine Arts of Addis Ababa University.
The desire to experiment and evolve is manifested in the works of the two artists. Both had shown their determination to experiment and not slavishly follow the tyranny of tight forms and exact lines. The combination of rich colors, deep tones and the occasional glitter add to the playful allure of their works. The show’s curator Leo says that in a very subtle alchemy, the works infuse a sense of poetry with the kaleidoscopes palettes, vivid stoke and refined textures. Conceptually, the paintings are intricate and there are no given narratives in their works.
An emerging Canadian photographer, Salima Punjani, came up with twenty seven engaging body of work, most of them taken at Addis Ababa’s Merkato market. Objects and people in the market seem to be her preoccupation, and her vivacious picture of chaos at Menalesh Tera sparks this show.” I started focusing on photography as a primary medium when I first visited Merkato in Addis Ababa,” she wrote in a flyer describing her works. “Each object, person and process involved in the market is reflective of struggle, symbiosis and perseverance. I couldn’t stop taking photographs after being exposed to such aesthetically beautiful and meaningful interactions,” she says.
Though some of the works look a little too easy, most of Salima’s photographs are clean, cool and immensely appealing. The complete range of her activity is laid out in wonderful rooms of German House four-floor galleries, in an exhibition that will run from December 8th until January 20th 2012. Read more…