ET Art Media Interview with the famous Ethiopian Artist Tigist Girma
Founded in 1958, the Ale School of Fine Art and Design in Addis Ababa is one of the oldest fine art schools in Africa, and it was at the heart of Ethiopia's modernist art movement. The vast majority of the country's modernist artists trained or taught there.
Including the painter and poet Gebre Kristos Desta, who is considered the grandfather of this movement, and Wosene Kosrof, who emigrated to the US and whose work is in the Smithsonian and the UN's New York headquarters.
Today, many of the school's former students are the country's art stars, including Dawit Abebe, whose dramatic paintings often feature foreboding figures with their backs to the world. And Wendimagegn Belete, who specializes in textile and paint collages, or Ephrem Solomon, whose powerful woodcut-inspired paintings have been collected by institutions across the globe, including The Studio Museum in Harlem.
Kristin Hjellegjerde, who runs her eponymous galleries in London and Berlin, represents Abebe, Belete and Solomon, and says that Ethiopian artists have a specific aesthetic. "They tell stories," she said over the phone, "they have a unique language that talks to you