Floating City: Addis Gezahegn

31 March - 2 June 2024 Addis Ababa
Addis Fine Art is pleased to present a solo exhibition of works by Addis Gezahegn at our Addis Ababa Gallery. Featuring large scale canvases, Addis Gezahegn continues to reimagine Addis Ababa and its unrestrained urbanity. Simplifying backgrounds of these floating cityscapes, Addis has painted a panoptic view of the state of transformation the city has been undergoing in recent years. 

These patchwork cityscapes are not the straight geometric lines of low cost apartment housing that have exploded in this city. They capture the random pattern of living, one structure on top of another, that has gradually and organically developed. Their visual language is linked to society's rituals and patterns — there are no individual lives here. Like the knitted pattern of a blanket, people’s lives are incontrovertibly interlinked. 

Addis has adopted an abstract and simplified approach to his previous Floating City and Floating Tower series, compressing details into form, line and warm colour. Zooming in and out of this landscape, we enter the windows of people's interiors, bringing human figures into these physical locales. Addis forces us to confront the loss of vitality in these rapidly disappearing structures. 

Layers of paint like a dossier of files narrate what takes place in these interiors. The imagined subsections of these cityscapes offer a glimpse into the absurdity of modern life, as we rush towards urbanization at the cost of so much for the poor and disenfranchised.