Addis Calling II
Addis Fine Art gallery presents Addis Calling II, featuring works by Ethiopian artists Addis Gezehagn, Mulugeta Kassa, Abiy Solomon and Bezawit Wondwosen, which is currently ongoing till May 20, 2017. The exhibition is an exciting mix of painting, glass mono-prints and photography, representing a new selection of local talent engaged in a diverse range of artistic expression.
Addis Gezehagn was born in 1978 and holds a diploma and bachelor of fine arts degree in Graphic design from the Addis Ababa University, Alle School of Fine Arts and Design. He is known for portraying the multifaceted characteristics of the city’s residents by detailing the external facades of their homes. Gezehagn’s signature piece in the exhibition, from his series Floating City, features a vast, dramatic night sky – a black expanse that towers above a shimmering horizon of urban homes that mostly appear rootless, blurred, and ephemeral. He has exhibited severally in Ethiopia, United States, and Ireland.
Mulugeta Kassa was born in 1973 and graduated from the Addis Ababa School of Fine Arts and Design. He is the co-founder of the experimental collective Netsa Art Village and considers the singular nature of conception and fertility through his glass mono-prints. Embryo and phallus-like structures float by in a sea of neutral greys, greens, and browns. One of these is tweaked to reveal the outline of a woman carrying a mountain-like bundle of sticks on her back.
Abiy Solomon, born 1983, is a photographer and one of the most prominent advertising creative directors in Addis Ababa. He holds a degree in animation and visual effects from Maac University in India. He is the founder and creative director at Orangeswitch, an advertising agency; and a Partner at Africology Media. In Solomon’s photography series, Primordial Modernity: The Raw Spirit of Lalibela, he offers a meditation on spirituality and the profound interiority of faith, as he photographs monks in Lalibela exiting and entering the hushed, dark spaces within the ancient rock-hewn churches. Offset by the bright sunlight that pours in through the open windows and doorways, the images are imbued with a reverent feeling; a contemplation of light and darkness, as well as the inner and outer manifestations of religiosity.
Bezawit Wondwosen was born in 1987 and graduated from the Abyssinia School of Fine Arts in 2003. He uses bold, thick strokes of blues, oranges, and browns to create an abstract yet vigorous cityscape, with splashes of black silhouette. The black forms a meditative core – seemingly haphazard, yet controlled; ornamental, yet integral to the logic of the works. Wondwosen’s works pulls viewers in to contemplate its various weights, and the sense of angst it evokes—a feeling.
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