Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The famous and pioneer Ethiopian artist, AFEWORK TEKLE, works








More works
Afework Tekle













There followed a chain of invitations from various parts of the world. In 1964 Afewerk opened an impressive and successful exhibition in Moscow which was widely attended: he proceeded to visit many of the Artistic cities of the Soviet Union, giving lectures on the way. Later that year he went to the United States at the invitation of the American Government to present his one-man show in Washington and New York. He toured the country giving twenty-two lectures at various Universities and other cultural centers.In the ensuing years he exhibited and lectured in Senegal, Turkey, Zaire, the United Arab Republic, Bulgaria, and Munich on the occasion of the XX Olympiad, Kenya and Algeria.Afewerk has been engaged in many challenging works, such as the mural of St. Paul’s Hospital which was completed early in 1972, and the second and larger version of his Last Judgment, now in the Adigrat Cathedral in Tigrai. Afewerk continued meanwhile with his studies of Ethiopian faces, landscapes and costumes in an attempt to preserve this heritage for coming generations. Later compositions included murals of the old sites of Addis Ababa (the market), Awassa landscapes, Harrar and Sidamo compositions, and a new study for a mural of the celebrated Ethiopian Saint Abuna Taklahaymanot, the founder of the monastery of Dabra Libanos.In the 1970’s Afewerk, though still deeply interested in the Ethiopian heritage and African culture, pondered on the unity of mankind, and on the need for world peace. Hence his painting entitled “Unity Triptych”: (a) The disunity of man. (b) Towards the unity of man. (c) Symbol of human unity. This won him the gold medal at the Algiers International Festival in 1977. In September 1980 Afewerk gave an important one-man show in the U.S.S.R., the first since the Ethiopian Revolution of 1974. This exhibition, the artist’s second appearance in the Soviet Union, was held at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow and the Russian State Museum in Leningrad, and attracted a large number of art critics and art-lovers from many parts of the Soviet Union. He was awarded the highest order of “Hero of Peace and Friendship”, and was recognized as the most significant and serious twentieth century artist from the African continent.A year later Afewerk was invited by the Federal German Republic to exhibit his works at the IFA Galley in Bonn, and to give a series of illustrated lectures on his work and his Ethiopian artistic heritage, at Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt. The exhibition and visit re-awakened much enthusiasm among the German public with its long-standing scholarly interest in Ethiopia and her ancient culture.This visit, like those which preceded it, gave Afewerk the opportunity to meet, know and exchange views with many contemporary artists and creative thinkers, as well as once more to study and re-evaluate the great masters.In 1981, his work “Self-portrait” was the first from the African continent to be honoured for inclusion in the permanent collection of the Uffizi Museum, Florence, Italy.Later, in 1997, he attended the Biennale of Acquitaine, France, where he exhibited two works: “The Chalice and the Cross in the Life of the African People” (a study for a stained glass window 12mx11m) and “The Sun of Senegal”. He won the first prize, with the second, third and fourth going to competitors from Japan, France and Mexico respectively. He was also nominated Laureate of the Biennale, an honour that carried with it the Grand Cordon with the Easel of Gold, and membership of the French International Academy of Arts.Subsequently, in 2000, he was one of the few chosen as World Laureate of the American Biographical Institute at the 27th International Congress Millennium on the Arts and Communication in Washington DC.In 2004, at the Thirtieth Anniversary of the International Congress on Science, Culture and the Arts, held in Dublin, Ireland, Afewerk was awarded the Da Vinci Diamond “for his Contribution to the Wealth of Human Learning and Advancement of Modern Art”. At the same venue, the United Cultural Convention of the USA awarded the artist the Valiant Award for “his efforts in promoting Global Harmony through his Contribution to World Art”.Afewerk has mastered not only numerous media but has also shown ability to select the style most appropriate to his theme. He has not made a dogma of realism, symbolism, or abstract art, or of any other “ism” for that matter, but has used all of these approaches with imagination.In recognition of his valuable contributions to African Art as a whole, Afewerk has been given many awards, medals and high decorations by heads of state of many parts of the world.When we realize the extent of Afewerk’s creative output we can be confident that he will achieve much more in the future. His creative genius and his application to hard work have already set an example to his generation and assured his place not only as a leading Ethiopian artist but also as a figure in the art world of the twentieth century.

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