Wosene Kosrof’s ‘Fidel Chewata’ Comes to New York

Berkeley, California-based painter and mixed-media artist Wosene Kosrof is best known for his work that incorporate Amharic alphabetic characters into his prolific compositions. (Photo credit: Alan Bamberger)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Published: Monday, May 14, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – An exhibition of recent paintings by the Ethiopian-born artist Wosene Kosrof will open at Skoto Gallery in New York this week. This will be Wosene’s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery.

The show entitled Word: Future Tense is the a continuation of his Word Play series in which he combines written language and universal sounds anchored with an Amharic script. Wosene’s work is dense with visual complexity that celebrates text traditions from around the world. He forgets conventional meanings of words, and instead explores their aesthetic, sensual, and visual content to speak to a universal audience.

“The Ethiopian writing is one concept of exaggeration that I use in my paintings to express a global message that is political, cultural, and social,” he said in a recent interview with TADIAS. “I just returned from Japan, for example, where I had an exhibition and my intention is to show that we’re all connected.” He added: “If you look carefully you would notice that our music, jazz and other visual cultures are also embedded in my work.”

Wosene, who was raised in Ethiopia but has lived in the United States for over three decades, uses Amharic as a core compositional element. “I came to America during Jimmy Carter’s era,” he said. “That wasn’t that far back. It was only 30 years ago.” His work draws from his personal memories. “It’s really a Fidel Chewata,” Wosene said, referring to the Amharic translation of Word Play.

What inspires his paintings? “Movies, bookstores, photography, landscape, fashion, colors, conversations,” he said. “I am a loner so listening to jazz, sitting at cafes, watching street lights, people, car movements, all give continuous formation to my paintings.”

Wosene will be present at the opening reception on Thursday, May 17th, 6-8pm.

If You Go:
529 West 20th Street, 5FL.
New York, NY 10011
212-352 8058

Words: Future Tense, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 34×34 inches

Wosene Kosrof’s Exhibition ‘Wordplay’ at Gallery of African Art in London (Video)

5 Responses to “Wosene Kosrof’s ‘Fidel Chewata’ Comes to New York”

  1. 1 Mimi Negash May 14th, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Wosene’s artworks are not only bold and colorful but they speak by suggestion, not imposition, it leaves always a slight touch of mystery in my mind. I am a big fan!! Will be there.

  2. 2 Mariam May 14th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Wosene’s art is full of intense colors and excitement I love his collections and he has the most friendly attitude to all that attend his shows. I wish him well!

  3. 3 Bisset, J. May 14th, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I don’t have the talent for painting, but I have a very good sense of colour, a love of visual beauty. And I am great admirer of Mr. Kosrof’s work. He is a very talented painter.

  4. 4 proud May 17th, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Ejig betam yakoral. Fidel chewata, proud to see our own alphabets to be painted and absorbed me deep to my heart. So amazing. Mr. WOSENE, proud of you and your works.

  5. 5 Omar Khoso Carrera May 19th, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Congrats on the show!

    Great work as always.

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