Merikokeb Berhanu, 'Untitled 11', 2011, Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 120 cm, Courtesy of Addis Fine Art
Merikokeb Berhanu, 'Untitled 11', 2011, Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 120 cm, Courtesy of Addis Fine Art  

Engaging with a long and deeply rooted tradition of Ethiopian painting, Merikokeb Berhanu’s works feature abstract forms and dense backgrounds, which interact with recurring organic symbols. Informed by the physical structures of Addis Ababa as well as the artist’s psychological musings, the rich imagery within these works renders a complex understanding of contemporary personal and collective life through all-encompassing, complex compositions.

Berhanu completed her art degree from the Addis Ababa University Fine Arts and Design School (2002), where she studied mural design. She presently works from the Nubia studio, and her work has been shown at numerous exhibitions, including solo exhibitions at the Ethiopian National Museum (2011); and RedHill Art Gallery, Nairobi (2015). Her group showings include the 1.54 African Art Fair, London (2015); Art of Ethiopia, Sheraton Addis, Addis Ababa (2010 – 2013); and Art Lab Africa, Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town (2015).