Addis Fine Art showcases Ethiopian art at 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair in London

15 Oct 2018

Addis Fine Art presented a solo exhibition by Ethiopian Artist, Addis Gezehagn, for the 2018 edition of the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, which took place between 4th and 7th October at Somerset House, London.

Addis Gezehagn, Floating City X, 2018, Acrylic on Canvas, 146 x 222 cm. Courtesy Addis Fine Art

The solo exhibition was from Gezehagn’s “Floating Cities” series, in which he depicts dreamlike deconstructed and layered renderings of the urban landscapes rising above the ground. These works are a documentation of the increasingly changing landscape of Addis Ababa and the communities that reside in neighbourhoods such as Kasanchis, Piassa and Arat Kilo.

Addis Gezehagn, who lives and works in Addis Ababa, is renowned for his abstracted portrayals of the multifaceted characteristics of the city’s architectural structures. His first international showing was at the 2017 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London and was received with great acclaim. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength, garnering more international interest after having his first sold out solo show at Addis Fine Art’s main gallery in Addis Ababa in 2018.

At this year’s Fair, all of Gezehagn’s work sold out at the private viewing on 3rd October.

Addis Fine Art was founded by Rakeb Sile and Mesai Haileleul in 2013. The very first local space and international platform based in Ethiopia, the gallery focuses on highlighting fine art from the Horn of Africa region and its diaspora, with 8 to 10 exhibitions yearly, providing a gateway for a previously opaque treasure trove of artistic talent.

Rakeb Sile (r) and Mesai Haileleul (back), founders of Addis Fine Art, with Gallery Manager, Judith van Helden

In January 2016, Addis Fine Art opened its main gallery space in the heart of Addis Ababa launching an innovative programme of exhibitions, talks and events, showing a diverse set of modern and contemporary artists from Ethiopia and the diaspora. In October 2016, the AFA Project Space was opened in London, to provide an additional international platform to the gallery’s programme. As one of the first galleries to be accepted at Cromwell Place in London, AFA will move to its permanent international home in September 2019.

Since the Gallery’s first art fair participation at the Armory Show, New York in March 2016, AFA has been invited to over thirty international art fairs and now attends 8-10 fairs a year, including Art Dubai, Cape Town Art Fair and 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London.

Through the quality of its represented artists and its unique position as the only Ethiopian gallery active on the international circuit, Addis Fine Art is quickly becoming one of the leading galleries from Africa. It has been lauded for facilitating critical engagement with the local and mainstream art markets and championing an underrepresented, yet, rich space in modern and contemporary fine art.

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