Dawit Abebe (Ethiopian, born 1978)
Background Series (54, 39, 46), 2013
54: ‘Dawit ABEBE 2006 ‘signature’’ (lower right)
39: ‘Dawit ABEBE 2006 ‘signature’’ (upper left)
46: ‘Dawit ABEBE 2006 ‘signature’’ (lower right)
Mixed media on canvas
33.5 x 33.5 cm each
Sold Ksh 1,009,640
Provenance: private collection
These three paintings are rare, small works from Dawit Abebe’s hugely successful first Background series, a body of mostly large-scale paintings reflecting on individual and societal relationships with the past. Figures, thickly built up in layers, turn away from both the viewer and the present, looking instead to their histories.
Abebe graduated from the Addis Ababa University School of Fine Art and Design with a Diploma specializing in painting, sculpture, graphics, photography and industrial design. Since 2001, he has been a member of the Habesha Art Studio in Addis Ababa.
Abebe’s international exposure and success has continued to grow, with solo presentations including: Mutual Identity, Addis Fine Art, Addis Ababa, 2018; Liminal in the Age of Mobile-ty, 68 Projects, Berlin, 2018; “Quo Vadis?”, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London, 2017; Background 2, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London, 2015 and Background 1, Lela Gallery, Addis Ababa, 2014. Group shows include: What About Africa?, Witteveen Visual Art Centre, Amsterdam, 2016; Pangaea: New Art from Africa and Latin America, Saatchi Gallery, London, 2015; the touring exhibition Silver Sea Cross-Ship, 2013-2014, as well as the display of the Habesha Art Collection at the National Museum in Addis Ababa, 2014, along with exhibitions in France, the UAE and the USA.
His work is held in international private and public collections including the Barjel Art Foundation, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation and the Saatchi Gallery Collection.