Addis Fine Art is proud to present a solo exhibition by Addis Gezehagn for the 2018 edition of 1- 54 Contemporary African Art Fair, taking place between 4 - 7 October 2018 at Somerset House, London.
Addis Fine Art will present a solo exhibition from Gezehagn's "Floating Cities" series in which he depicts dreamlike deconstructed and layered renderings of the urban landscapes rising above the ground. These compositions made by layering magazine cut outs with acrylic paint, blend the boundaries of fantasy and reality of urban life, blurring the lines between the past, present and future. Flattened and reductive, Gezehagn's works imagine cityscapes as towers, or patchworks of colourful doors and gates, the architectural structures seeming to signify a natural, organic network of living spaces. The rootless and ephemeral nature of these layered towers call into question the lives of the inhabitants. 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. The distinct rusted corrugated iron roofs of the homes in these communities can be seen in some of his paintings offering the impression of an aerial perspective. Yet, this is within an abstracted context, as the observer is confronted with nonsensical blackened doorways placed on what are perceived to be the rooftops of these homes.
By examining the personal and public spaces, these works archive walls and towers destined to crumble, tracing a pattern of classism and social injustice. Gezehagn's works urge us to think beyond homes as functional entities and offer commentary on the socio-economic context of urban life.
Addis Gezehagn (b.1978) lives and works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He graduated from the Alle School of Fine Arts and Design with a Diploma and BFA in 2011. He has long been a strong artistic presence in Addis Ababa, and is renowned for his abstracted portrayals of the multifaceted characteristics of the city's architectural structures. His first international showing was in 2017 at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London which 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.