Emotional complexities of Tizta Berhanu’s Heber

Hiwot Abebe, The Reporter, December 19, 2020

[...] Tizta Berhanu is one of the youngest artists defining contemporary Ethiopian visual arts and is ready to show new works at Heber, an exhibition at Addis Fine Art. 

The emotional spectrum traversed throughout Heber is wide: distance, grief and discontent are explored as much as love, intimacy and forgiveness. There is also a theme of circular composition that gives a feeling of completion to the paintings. 

These new works show Tizta’s evolution as an artist. The subject matter has broadened from her previous focus on romantic love to include familial affection and community. Two figures usually featured in her paintings have multiplied to include several figures in close physical contact. 


Touch is a big part of these paintings. Even figures that appear to be in disagreement are in some kind of physical contact. Complete independence and isolation are not possible in the world Tizta has created. Contact and connection are inescapable parts of being human. Considering the physical distancing required by pandemic restrictions, the affection displayed in Tizta’s paintings seem to be from an era we all fiercely miss.[...]

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