The Elegance of Effort
The artistry of Abebe Zelelew lies, in part, in the effort it takes to achieve some of his complex carved and painted works. Like the subject he depicts, there is a marriage of elegance and effort, and the result is a tangible expression of the dignity of the human condition.
Beginning first with canvas and goatskin as substrates for his vision, he moved into using wood, which has a long tradition in African art. While woodcarving is arduous work, Abebe is enamored of the permanence of the medium and of its inherent resonance with Christian, Muslim, and animistic traditions.
Daily life in Ethiopia, as seen through Abebe’s eyes and communicated on his panels, is distilled into bright,
intensely worked or patterned surfaces. While the images themselves might describe sorrow, joy, familial affection, or farming, building, and food preparation, the treatment of these prosaic themes are given significance and depth through the artist’s intensive intervention.
excerpted from addis-art.com
His Art Works coming soon.
Critics and reviews Abebe Zelelew’s art work coming soon.