Pillars of Life

Tadesse Mesfin

In Autumn 2020, Addis Fine Art London permanently relocated to South Kensington’s Cromwell Place. We launched our new location with an exhibition of 10 new paintings titled, ‘Pillars of Life’ by Ethiopian modernist Tadesse Mesfin, marking  Mesfin’s first-ever European solo show. 


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 (b. 1953) is a giant of the Ethiopian art scene. He 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.