Endale Desalegn

Endale Desalegn is an Ethiopian based in Addis Ababa where he studied at the Addis Ababa University School of Fine Art and Design and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in painting in 2008. He has had solo exhibitions in Ethiopia, Portugal and now in South Africa and has also participated in various group shows. He lectured at Addis Ababa University’s School of Architecture in 2009 and the Teaching College in Hawassa, Ethiopia in 2013.

Endale works with oil and acrylic on canvas, often morphing the meaning of a painting as he responds to changes within his environment. His paintings are rich and dark, built up with layers of paint into exceptionally tactile objects, which combine texts and symbols in a meditative practice. Endale’s work is influenced by the rich culture of his home country, in which a strong sense of mythology is layered with everyday experience.

Endale first collaborated with David Krut Projects (DK Projects) in 2014 as part of a residency programme which culminated in a solo exhibition, A Single Vibration, at the David Krut Projects gallery at Arts on Main, Johannesburg. The exhibition featured both works made in Ethiopia as well as new works made during his residency with DK Projects. During his residency Endale experimented with mark-making and printing techniques, having had access to an etching press. He collaborated in the workshop with Senzo Shabangu and Tendai Mupita, a young Zimbabwean arts intern.

Since his return to Addis Ababa after his residency in Johannesburg, Endale has been fortunate to move into his own studio space and has been making use of the camera and laptop he bought while in South Africa.

Endale has an upcoming solo exhibition in February/March 2015 at the Alliance Francais in Addis Ababa, with whom he has a longstanding relationship. The exhibition will explore themes of religion, culture and relationships, as well continuing with the introduction of colour to his previously (largely) dark works.