Zerihun Yetemgeta Retrospective
The Alliance Ethio-Française is running a retrospective exhibition of the works of Zerihun Yetemgeta, a renowned Ethiopian artist.
The exhibtion entilted ‘Zerihun Yetemgeta in the Magical Universe of Art’ brings together works from the past four decades, done in various techniques like wood cut print, skin, canvass and bamboo strips.
Artist Zerihun describes the works in the exhibition as the story of his artistic development over the last 40 years.Much of his works on display captures bits of history and present-day expereince, carrying the tragedy, the aspirations, and the preservance and the joy of everyday life.Devoid of propoganda, his art sensitively captures the social changes of the country.
Prof. Abebe Zegeye of the University of South Africa who wrote in catalogue published for the occasion said the works are “evidence of his remarkable talent, an ability to spiritualise the world around him and trasnform tradtional motifs into a vibrant modern idiom.”
The most exciting of them is siklet, the crucification, with the painful and agonizing image.” Who is the crucified person? It is the Messiah, Jesus Christ, or the artist Zerihun Yetemgeta himself?” asked the Minister of Culture and Tourism who spoke at the opening of the exhibiton.
The speaker also said Zerihun is a great Ethiopian icons in the field of modern arts like Ale Felege-Selam, founder of the then Addis Ababa Art School, Skunder Bogossian and Gebre-Kristos Desta.”He was heavily influenced by their school of thought, which aspired to search into the African artistic genres for orginality and creativity,” said the Minister.
Zerihun has a fondness for certain properties like masks and he makes them deeply personal, and imbues them with extraordinary life.Here is one of his works, entitled African Mask Reaserch.
The exhibition was organized by Meskerem Assegued of Zome Contemporary Arts Center who also conducted an interview with the artist for the catalogue.The works will be on display at the Alliance gallery through February 27, 2008.
The catalogue published by Tsehay Publishers is also on sale for 100 Ethiopian Birr.