Circle Art Auction 2017 Lot 50 Merikokeb Berhanu

Merikokeb Berhanu (Ethiopian, born 1977)
Untitled III, Corporeal Contemplation Series, 2014
Signed (lower left)
Acrylic on canvas
100 x 80 cm

Ksh 375,000-430,000
(US$ 3,500-4,000)
Sold Ksh 422,640

Provenance: direct from the artist through Addis Fine Art Gallery

Merikokeb Berhanu creates an aloof, almost subterranean atmosphere in her paintings. An array of life bearing forms, such as orange seed pods, embryos, fallopian tubes, and pulsing cells, appear against a network of gaunt, drooping female figures, and surreal yet earthly structures. Berhanu makes much of the vertical ascent of saplings; plants bursting through the surface, as well as the forces that resist and suppress their efforts. Both growth and decay appear in equal measure.

Berhanu completed her Degree in Art from the Addis Ababa University Fine Arts and Design School in 2002. Her work has been shown at numerous exhibitions, including solo exhibitions at Addis Fine Art Gallery, Addis Ababa, 2016, Red Hill Art Gallery, Nairobi, 2015 and the Ethiopian National Museum, 2011. Her group shows include the 1:54 Contemporary Art Fair, London, 2015 and 2016, Art of Ethiopia, Sheraton Addis, Addis Ababa, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, My Self Portrait, Asni Gallery, Addis Ababa, 2011 and Ashara, Laphto Gallery, Addis Ababa, 2013.