Circle Art Auction 2015 Lot 1 Dawit Abebe

Dawit Abebe (Ethiopian, born 1978)
Background, 2015
Signed ‘signature’ (lower left)
Mixed media on canvas
200 x 140 cm

Ksh 495,000-660,000
(US$ 4,500-6,000)
Sold Ksh 1,291,400

Provenance: direct from the artist

Dawit Abebe’s allegorical paintings from his Background series show figures turned away from the world. History, in the form of pages from text books and documents, is layered onto the canvas over which the figures are painted, the paint creating a skin over this history. Abebe uses the back in this way to reflect on people and society’s relationship with their past.

Abebe graduated from the Addis Ababa University School of Fine Art and Design with a diploma 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 solo exhibitions include Background 2, Kristin Hjellegjerde, London, 2015 and X Privacy, Alliance Ethio-Francaise, Addis Ababa, 2012. Group shows include 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.