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Hana Yilma Godine

April 13 – 29, 2023

No. 9 Cork Street

London W1S 3LL, United Kingdom

Opening Reception:

Thursday, April 13

6 – 8 pm


Hana Yilma Godine, Single painting #15, 2023, Oil on plastic and fabric, 45 x 80in

Fridman Gallery is honored to present Ethiopian painter Hana Yilma Godine’s first solo exhibition in Europe, at No. 9 Cork Street in London. 

Featuring a new body of work, set to magical sounds of Ethio Jazz, the exhibition will take the viewer through coexisting histories and geographies, through psychological and architectural spaces defined by the paintings themselves.

"I think about painting as a space that mediates time and place, reconciling the past, present, and future into one unified form. Figures are central to my compositions. Their colorful, transparent, and collaged surfaces suggest embedded histories and embodied feelings. My practice has long focused on women–their bodies, as well as their social and societal roles. I work symbolically to communicate the complexity of their lives and see them as a source of life within my paintings."


Godine’s use of flattened perspective, evenly distributed light, and elongated figures brings to mind Ethiopian icons which underscore the divinity of biblical subjects by rejecting the rules of earthly representation. At the same time, Godine’s artworks are firmly grounded in reality – she paints on and with traditional fabrics which Ethiopian women buy at local markets and turn into dresses. The masterful brushstrokes, interwoven with the fabric print, at times leave the flowery patterns untouched, at times let them faintly show through the painted layers.

"Selam (Australopithecus afarensis) is a female who lived 3.3 million years ago, the earliest human ancestral fossil found in Dikika, Ethiopia in 2000. Thus, Ethiopia is the likely place of origin of the human race and of the body. In my paintings, fabric as a material is a metaphor for the fabric of life, reflecting the multiple fashions, languages, religions, and celebrations in Ethiopia."


Combining traditional materials with bold compositions and color schemes, the paintings appear to time-travel, offering a futuristic worldview based in spirit, community, care, and hope. 


Hana Yilma Godine received an MFA from Boston University in 2020, having previously studied at the Abyssinia School of Fine Art and Design, and the Ale School of Fine Art in Addis Ababa. Godine’s first exhibition with Fridman Gallery, Spaces within Space, took place in the Fall of 2020, followed by her first institutional exhibition at the National Museum of Ethiopia in the Spring of 2021., and a two-gallery solo show at Fridman Gallery and Rachel Uffner Gallery in 2022. Godine’s work is in the collections of the Hirshhorn Museum, Inhotim Museum, and the Sharjah Foundation. She lives and works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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