Tibebe Terffa: Enduring Spirit

Addis Fine Art, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
10 Jun 2017 - 22 Jul 2017

Tibebe Terffa, Untitled I, 2015

Tibebe Terffa, Untitled I, 2015

Addis Fine Art gallery presents Enduring Spirit, a solo exhibition of works by Tibebe Terffa.

Enduring Spirit expresses, in Tibebe’s words, his “freedom to explore diverse opportunities through the silent language of color”. The exhibition features an array of paintings, each completed at different points in Tibebe’s life, and signifying for the artist the distillation of a distinct moment’s meditation. The resulting stylistic variety is staggering. On one end of the spectrum, Tibebe is ornate, and uses planar faceting techniques to compose an intricate landscape of dust-covered buildings and alleyways teeming with brightly-clothed pedestrians.  In another work, he takes a diametrically opposed approach, and in a two-dimensional manner, creates an eerily empty green landscape, upon which a yellow gash and the dark shadows underneath, hints at the existence of a deep abyss that lies just beneath the surface. In his work, Tibebe makes much of the interplay between foreground and background elements, both as a means to sensitise the viewer to the existence of another plane and as a way to emotionally and spiritually journey there.

Tibebe Terffa was born in the walled city of Harar, Ethiopia in 1948. He studied at the Addis Ababa School of Fine Art from where he graduated in painting in 1973. During his school years (1970-1973), Tibebe and his friends formed the Sixteen Young Artists Association to stage exhibitions around the country. Tibebe worked as an art instructor at the Medhane Alem Comprehensive High School in Harar from 1973 until 1980. In 1981, he moved to Addis Ababa, and worked as an illustrator for Kuraz Publishing House until 1983. Since 1984, he has been working as a studio artist from his residence in Addis Ababa. He has also exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions in Ethiopia, Kenya, Germany, Canada, USA, and Spain.

Works from the exhibition can be previewed on Artsy




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