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Zerihun Yetmgeta / Untitled 1991
The Magical Universe of Art- Zerihun YetmgetaZerihun Yetmgeta is one of the most famous contemporary Ethiopian artists. He was born in Addis Ababa in 1941 and from early in his life he showed a special talent for art.
He is one of the few internationally known artists that chose not to study abroad, to keep his art as authentically Ethiopian and African as possible, and even though he traveled all over the world his art reflects the culture of his country.
He has worked with many materials, from oils to acrylic paints on canvass to wood, bamboo and sheep skin, and the term that describes his technique the best is “mixed”. And that not only applies to the materials, but also to the themes of his art. He’s a master in combining modernity with tradition at all levels, from medium to images.
His work also includes print making pieces using lithography, woodcut and silk screen.
Probably what he’s most known by are his paintings using bamboo strips.

Zerihun Yetmgeta / Unttitled 1991
Zerihun Yetmgeta / Wax and gold (1991)

He has his studio in Addis where he creates his art getting his inspiration from traditional Ethiopian motifs. He borrows symbols from the magic scrolls and also from the rich images of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. He also creates his own iconography.

 Zerihun Yetmgeta, photo by Raymond Silverman
If you want to know more about him of see his work here are the links:

Zerihun Yetmgeta website
Ethiopian Art: Zerihun Yetmgeta

Books:

Ethiopia: traditions of creativity
Ethiopia: Traditions of Creativity
by Raymond A. Silverman
An Anthology of African Art
An Anthology of African Art: The Twentieth Century by Various Authors

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