Opening this Saturday April 5, 2014 starting 3pm at the Lela Art Gallery, Dawit Abebe will be exhibiting over 60 paintings entitled “Background #1” under the theme reflecting the artist’s explorations on canvas unveiling testaments to his examination of his own self, asking how he got to where he is presently.
Lela Art Gallery, with over a decade’s worth of experience in the Ethiopian Arts milieu, is a space dedicated to promoting visionary thinking, organizing art events and shows in various venues in Addis, the regions and abroad. Remaining free from any particular school or category of creation, linked into a global network of artists and galleries, Lela Art Gallery is uniquely positioned to connect local artists with the international art scene.
Lela Art Gallery announce the pleasure of hosting Dawit Abebe’s Solo Exhibition entitled “Background #1” at their venue since his last participation at their venue in a Group Exhibition held in 2007 themed “Habesha Art Show”.
He has presented 4 solo exhibitions since 2006, all of which were hosted locally at the Alliance Ethio- Francaise (3 in Addis Ababa and 1in Diredawa). He has planned to showcase his work in 2015 Kristin Hjellegierde, London.
He’s been engaged in several Group exhibitions locally and abroad since 2001, at several prestigious establishments presenting his work amongst a number of artists of different styles and nationality; managed to penetrate the international scene presenting his work in group exhibitions held in London , France, Dubai, and USA to mention a few.
Dawit Abebe, one of the highly active Ethiopian Contemporary Artists, will be offering his own discoveries or interpretations extending invitations to his audience to catch a glimpse beyond the hosted collection of paintings, or their all-encompassing single-worded theme – a theme that will only be identified by name at the end of this introductory statement so as to deliver his invitation unblemished, the experience intact, and to stay true to the essence of the subject matter.
“It’s a sort of whole that is more than the sum of its constituent elements”
He attributes his theme’s significance to both abstract and tangible human diversity. Call it identity, culture, or language; or gauge with it power, status, or might; or identify it through the lack of any of these. It is this single common mast of indefiniteness that hoists any and all of these sails that Dawit discovered in his explorations, and documented through his art for this exhibition.
But he doesn’t shy away from the flip side – its parallel and distinctly definite essence that has enabled him to appreciate how it may be its highly subjective nature that highlights its indefiniteness. And no matter how sublime, that it is the backbone and backdrop of the now, and that more is back there than right here; more is back then than right now; and no matter how optimistic the viewpoint, that more is back there and then than what has yet to come.
In this first part of a series of exhibits on the subjects of historical, individual, spiritual, or cultural BACKGROUNDS, Dawit presents past and current attempts at capturing through art such an illusive concept – a collection that will in turn serve as the BACKGROUND to his upcoming explorations in the subject.
A deeper expression on the subject of Dawit’s chosen theme explained as follows:
It might be forgotten, or maybe it is of an inescapable presence in a singular or collective memory. It might be highly personal in its essence, yet may be manifested in a regional, national, or even global form of equal, and at times, greater caliber.
It might be an accumulation of conditionings; or maybe a fusion of cognitions; an inventory of interactions, maybe; or maybe a combination of any of these; or it might not even have anything to do with them.
Maybe it symbolically represents imposed loads, or might conjure up images of a free rein. It might have come as a result of a series of choices – informed or otherwise. Or on the contrary, it may have resulted through decisions – again informed or otherwise – based on the illusion of choice, when in fact it emanated from nothing but a lack of options masquerading as a catalog of alternatives.
And more importantly, it is highly likely to be found masked by layers upon layers of shrouds – more often inviting than not. Either way, more stands to be revealed behind masks than their mere appearances. After all, a mask with nothing to shroud behind it is but a lone layer of futility.
Thus may develop, albeit crudely, an indefiniteness (in the grammatical sense of the word) in Dawit’s theme of choice for his latest installment – an impression amassing seemingly unrelated yet intertwined concepts until the whole mental and spiritual exertion snowballs into a giant too convoluted to cope up with, let alone comprehend. But not for Dawit.
What may have been an overwhelming vortex of posing questions faster than one could answer a single one fermented in Dawit’s imagination images that revolve around a particular theme that applies equally to every individual train of thought mentioned in the labyrinthine scenario above; and one that also satisfies the bigger picture and more of what their composite portrays.