ART TALK: Tadesse Mesfin’s ‘Pillars of Life’ at Addis Fine Art

Tadesse Mesfin’s 'Pillars of Life' series is an ode to the women who work as small-holder vendors in markets across Ethiopia. (Photo courtesy of Addis Fine Art)

Tadias Magazine

By Tadias Staff

Updated: November 20th, 2020

New York (TADIAS) — Addis Fine Art gallery announced that they’re featuring an online exhibition of new works by artist Tadesse Mesfin called ‘Pillars of Life’ from their new London location as they prepare for the reopening of the gallery this December.

“To mark the exhibition, we have released a new film documenting the show, which is also accompanied by narration from Tadesse who delves into his practice and motivations,” the press release states.

“Tadesse Mesfin’s (b. 1953) Pillars of Life series is an ode to the women who work as small-holder vendors in markets across Ethiopia. These traders can typically be found standing or crouched down with their agricultural produce scattered in front of them, hoping to entice the eye of potential customers. As a visual paean to them, Tadesse places their occupations and personae front and centre, and the viewer is encouraged to appreciate their importance to the communities they serve.”


Tadesse Mesfin is a giant of the Ethiopian art scene. (Courtesy Photo)

The gallery adds:

“Mesfin’s latest work is a continuation of his ongoing ‘The Pillars of Life’ series, an ode to the women who work as small-holder vendors in markets across Ethiopia. As a visual paean to them, Mesfin pays homage to their occupations and personae by placing them front and centre, celebrating their importance within the social and cultural framework of Ethiopian life.

Tadesse Mesfin holds a unique position as both a figurehead of the Ethiopian modernist movement, and as a long- time educator through his role as a professor at the influential Alle School of Fine Art and Design in Addis Ababa. Among the generations of painters he has taught are Addis Gezehagn, Ermias Kifleyesus, Merikokeb Berhanu and Tesfaye Urgessa.

Learn more at addisfineart.com.

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