Fridman Gallery, New York, United States 27 Sep 2020 - 01 Nov 2020
Hana Yilma Godine, Spaces Within Space II
2019, Oil on Fabric, 54h x 70w in
Fridman Gallery announces the representation and the first gallery exhibition of Ethiopian painter Hana Yilma Godine.
Godine’s work is influenced by observations of her surroundings and social structures during her upbringing in the multicultural metropolis of Addis Ababa, and travels in Europe and the United States.
“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.”
Godine’s use of flattened perspective, evenly distributed light, and elongated figures brings to mind Ethiopian icons, and the work of modernist masters, such as Tadesse Mesfin, one of Godine’s teachers. Unlike western Christianity which sees Christ as manifesting two separate natures–human and divine, the Oriental Orthodox Church holds that Christ is fully human and fully divine in one indivisible physis (nature). Thus, biblical art in North Africa and the Near East was not subjected to the same rules of human reality (depth, shadow, scale) as it was in Europe, perhaps explaining why medieval Ethiopian iconography looks so profoundly modern.