A solo show by Zerihun Seyoum.
Exhibition runs through April 30th
The solo exhibition Accent / ቅላጼ presents the latest body of work by Ethiopian artist Zerihun Seyoum. Painted during the Covid 19’s lockdown, the showcased artworks present a variety of themes and supports, providing a deep insight into the artist’s more recent creative exploration.
Zerihun Seyoum’s artistic practice is investigatory, he observes his surroundings and absorbs the chaotic energy that generates from our frenetic way of living. He captures the tension between the people and their environment highlighting the convergence of contemporary and traditional societies. His paintings are characterized by an expressive figuration that often results in disfigured bodies and faces, which resemble traditional African masks and statues. His colours are bold and aggressive, his lines strong and scathing and his brush strokes rapid and intentional. In this exhibition, the artist presents artworks painted on unconventional supports such as pizza boxes, vegetable boxes, closets, which complete and enhance the narrative of the paintings. Inspired by sacred art forms which utilize specific surface to paint stories from the holy scriptures, such as parchments and wooden boxes, the artist creates his own city life iconography using symbol of consumption and materialism. Zerihun Seyoum’s artworks are infused with a subtle irony and are at the same time a critic and a celebration of modern society. The painted boxes dominate the space like sculptures, becoming urban icons and idols to be revered but also to be criticized. The artist crystallizes in his artworks moments from our everyday life, whether they are intimate moments or public events, from dance practice to war images. He engages the viewers by telling universal stories that everyone can relate to, showing the contradictions and malfunctions of our society.
Zerihun Seyoum is an artist and painter born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Presently residing and working in Virginia, USA, he is known for his signature style, and concepts depicting the convergence of contemporary and traditional societies, blended into an emotive coalescent explosion of colours. Zerihun is a featured artist and participant in UNESCO’s: Mask Art – Creativity under lockdown, with solo and group exhibitions at galleries in the USA, Spain, Paris, France, Kenya, Ethiopia, London and Germany. Embellishing his creative expressions, Zerihun graduated from the Allé School of Fine Arts & Design at Addis Ababa University, and is popularly recognized for his ongoing series entitled, “Introduction III”.