Fridman Gallery and Rachel Uffner Gallery are honored to announce A Hair Salon in Addis Ababa, a solo exhibition by Ethiopian painter Hana Yilma Godine spanning the two galleries.
Each gallery will present Godine’s new paintings portraying female protagonists in domestic and public spaces of their own making, drawing on everyday scenes of her home town of Addis Ababa: preparing for wedding celebrations, interacting in hair salons, resting in their living rooms. In a patriarchal society torn apart by a brutal civil war, Godine presents a parallel dimension where women are safe from violence and free to express themselves independently of social restrictions.
Godine’s use of flattened perspective, elongated figures and evenly distributed light recalls Ethiopian iconography which underscores the divinity of biblical subjects by rejecting the rules of earthly representation. On the other hand, Godine’s artworks are firmly grounded in reality – she paints on traditional fabrics which women buy at local markets and turn into affordable dresses. She weaves her brushstrokes with the fabric print, at times leaving the flowery patterns untouched, at times letting them faintly show through the painted layers.
Combining traditional materials with bold compositions and color schemes, the paintings appear to time-travel, offering a futuristic worldview based in spirit, community, care, and hope.
I think about painting as a space that mediates time and place, reconciling the past, present, and future into one unified form. Figures are central to my compositions. Their colorful, transparent, and collaged surfaces suggest embedded histories and embodied feelings. My practice has long focused on women–their bodies, as well as their social and societal roles. I work symbolically to communicate the complexity of their lives and see them as a source of life within my paintings.
Hana Yilma Godine (b. Arssi Negele, Ethiopia) received an MFA from Boston University in 2020, having previously studied at the Abyssinia School of Fine Art and Design, and the Ale School of Fine Art in Addis Ababa. Godine’s first exhibition with Fridman Gallery, Spaces within Space, took place in the Fall of 2020, followed by her first institutional exhibition at the National Museum of Ethiopia in the Spring of 2021.. Godine lives and works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After the opening of A Hair Salon in Addis Ababa, she will spend three months at Fridman Gallery’s new artist residency in Beacon, NY.