ART TALK: Tesfaye Urgessa & Ermias Kifleyesus on Art Cologne Online Platform

Ermias Kifleyesus and Tesfaye Urgessa. Addis Fine Art announced its presenting the Ethiopian artists as part of online-only 2020 Art Cologne edition that's taking place through November 29th, 2020. (Photos: Addis Fine Art)

Tadias Magazine

By Tadias Staff

Updated: November 23rd, 2020

New York (TADIAS) — This week the works of Ethiopian artists Tesfaye Urgessa and Ermias Kifleyesus are being featured on the newly launched online platform, Art Cologne, which is the world’s oldest art fair for modern and contemporary art.

Addis Fine Art announced that it is presenting the Ethiopian artists as part of online-only 2020 edition scheduled to take place through November 29th.

According to Art Daily: “Art Cologne is not only the oldest art fair in the world — the storied show is among the top three most important to take place in Continental Europe, and it is the premier art fair in Germany. Art Cologne’s April 2020 edition was postponed until November this year due to COVID-19 to coincide with Cologne Fine Art & Design. Both editions are now exclusively online in place of in-person events following new lockdown measures coming into force in Germany.”


Left: Ermias Kifleyesus, The Glasshouse and the Antis Hill, 2020, Oil on canvas, 172 x 190 cm; Right: Tesfaye Urgessa, VUPS IX, 2019, Oil on canvas, 180 x 180 cm. (Images via Addis Fine Art)

Per Addis Fine Art: “Tesfaye Urgessa’s work has deep roots in his childhood and his memories as a young man in Ethiopia. He finds social activism and story-telling a catalyst for his artistic production. Ermias Kifleyesus’ production is one layered narrative of cultural restitution and trans-cultural dialogue that deals with the de-colonization of historical narratives and cultural restitution.”

TESFAYE URGESSA
Urgessa’s work has deep roots in his childhood and his memories as a young man in Ethiopia. Having studied under modern master Tadesse Mesfin, at the Alle School of Fine Art and Design, Urgessa connected with Ethiopian iconography. This will be, in years to come, one of the binding elements of his artistic production. In his own words, this is like ‘always having an Ethiopian accent, no matter what language I’m speaking.’

ERMIAS KIFLEYESUS STATEMENT:
“I explore the flip side of paintings, this is true with my own work and the works I discover. I’m performing with the front and back of paintings, engaging the places in between canvas, primer, oil paint and varnish by working with light in that uncharted territory. This process gives new life to forgotten spaces; my technique gives vision and voice to my ideas, heroes and idols”.

Learn more at addisfineart.com.

Related:

Tadesse Mesfin’s ‘Pillars of Life’ at Addis Fine Art London


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

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.”

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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