ART TALK: Helina Metaferia’s Solo Debut with Addis Fine Art at 2021 Frieze NYC

Ethiopian American artist Helina Metaferia is an interdisciplinary artist working across collage, assemblage, video, performance, and social engagement. As a research based artist, Helina's work is informed by written and oral archives, dialogical art, and somatic practices. She is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow / Assistant Professor at Brown University. (Addis Fine Art)

Press Release

Addis Fine Art is delighted to announce its representation of artist Helina Metaferia in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Helina will make her solo debut with Addis Fine Art at this year’s Frieze NYC Online Viewing Rooms from 7 – 14 May 2021.

For Frieze NYC Online Viewing Rooms, Addis Fine Art will be showcasing a series of collage works and an accompanying film by Helina Metaferia. The works are a continuation of the series titled, By Way of Revolution, a celebration of the overlooked histories of BIPOC women’s labor within activism, and the generational impact of civil rights eras of the past on today’s social justice movements.

Her mixed media works are made with images sourced from archival research of historical activism, including Black Panther newspapers and civil rights era photographs. She then amalgamates these images into crowns of adornment upon portraits she has photographed of women who are involved in contemporary liberation movements. Previous collages include portraits of participants of her performance-as-protest workshops that she conducts nationally. Her most recent works draw upon the activities of the Black Lives Matter movement during the pandemic and showcase Black women activists in LA and NYC, including BLM founders and chapter leaders such as Opal Tometi and Melina Abdullah, and recently formed artist-activist groups, such as The Wide Awakes, Revival Resistance Chorus, and Blacksmiths.


HELINA METAFERIA, HEADDRESS VIII, 2020, Mixed media, collage, 88.9 x 88.9 cm (Photo: Addis Fine Art)

HELINA METAFERIA

Helina Metaferia is an interdisciplinary artist working across collage, assemblage, video, performance, and social engagement. Through a hybrid of media, Helina’s practise is concerned with exploring overlooked stories relating to the Black experience, mainly in the context of the West. She approaches this by centring Black bodies, mostly women, in positions of power and vulnerability to interrogate complex histories of systemic oppression, questioning how it informs personal experiences and interpersonal relationships. She is also influenced by her Ethiopian heritage, often drawing upon traditional African art sensibilities in her work, specifically the intersection of visual art and ritual.

As a research based artist, Helina’s work is informed by written and oral archives, dialogical art, and somatic practices. She is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow / Assistant Professor at Brown University.

Helina’s work has appeared in numerous institutional solo and group exhibitions including Museum of African Diaspora, San Francisco; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit; Modern Art Museum Gebre Kristos Desta Centre, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, among many others. Her solo exhibition, Generations will open at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in Autumn 2021. Helina’s work has also been supported by several artist residencies including MacDowell, Yaddo, Bemis, MASS MoCA, and Triangle Arts Association. She is also a participant of the 2021 Drawing Center’s Viewing Program. Helina received her MFA from Tufts University’s School of the Museum of Fine Art and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Learn more at addisfineart.com.

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