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(1962 – 2012), Eritrea

Ficre Ghebreyesus Biography

Ficre Ghebreyesus populates his works with intricate, highly personal experiences as a citizen of the world. Born in Eritrea during their War of Independence (1961–1991), he left as a teenage refugee to Sudan, Italy, and Germany, before finally settling in the United States where he studied at Yale School of Art. Ghebreyesus continued his lifelong activism for Eritrean independence alongside studying painting, printmaking, several languages, and working as the executive chef and co-owner of New Haven’s Caffé Adulis. Operating fluidly between abstraction and figuration, Ghebreyesus’ matte acrylic and oil paintings suggest the non-linear form of dreams, memories, and storytelling. Momentarily recognisable figures dissolve into colourful patterns: a school of fish becomes human bodies in transit or a boat emerges from brightly hued woven shapes echoing Eritrean textiles. His rebuke of borders and divisions seem to be distilled from his own optimistic embrace of an identity and home perpetually in flux.

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While Ghebreyesus turned down most opportunities to show during his short lifetime, recent posthumous exhibitions of his work include Ficre Ghebreyesus: City with a River Running Through at the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, California and POLYCHROMASIA: Selected Paintings by Ficre Ghebreyesus at Artspace, New Haven, Connecticut. Writer and poet Elizabeth Alexander’s memoire, The Light of the World (2015), chronicles her husband Ghebreyesus’ life and work. Galerie Lelong began representing the Estate in 2019.

Ficre Ghebreyesus was born in Asmara, Eritrea, in 1962, and died in New Haven, Connecticut, in 2012.

Text courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co. New York.

Exhibition view: Group Exhibition, Rhe: everything flows;, Galerie Lelong & Co., New York (7 January–13 February 2021).  Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co., New York. 

Ficre Ghebreyesus Featured Artworks

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Untitled by Ficre Ghebreyesus contemporary artwork
Ficre GhebreyesusUntitled, 2011Acrylic on canvas
91.4 x 61 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
Bird by Ficre Ghebreyesus contemporary artwork
Ficre GhebreyesusBird, c. 2011Acrylic on canvas
12.7 x 17.8 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
Kite by Ficre Ghebreyesus contemporary artwork
Ficre GhebreyesusKite, c. 2002–2007Acrylic on canvas
17.8 x 12.7 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
Untitled by Ficre Ghebreyesus contemporary artwork
Ficre GhebreyesusUntitled, c. 2002–2007Acrylic on canvas
27.9 x 35.6 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
La Amistad by Ficre Ghebreyesus contemporary artwork
Ficre GhebreyesusLa Amistad, 2002Acrylic on canvas
27.9 x 35.6 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
Untitled by Ficre Ghebreyesus contemporary artwork
Ficre GhebreyesusUntitled, c. 2002–2007Acrylic on canvas
55.9 x 71.1 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
Bent Tree by Ficre Ghebreyesus contemporary artwork
Ficre GhebreyesusBent Tree, 2011Acrylic on canvas
76.2 x 61 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
Red Hats and Balloons by Ficre Ghebreyesus contemporary artwork
Ficre GhebreyesusRed Hats and Balloons, c. 2002–2007Acrylic on canvas
61 x 91.4 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery

Ficre Ghebreyesus Current & Recent Exhibitions

View All (4)
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Rhe: everything flows; at Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
Open Now
7 January–13 February 2021 Group Exhibition Rhe: everything flows; Galerie Lelong & Co. New YorkNew York
Contemporary art exhibition, Ficre Ghebreyesus, Gate to the Blue at Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
Closed
10 September–24 October 2020 Ficre Ghebreyesus Gate to the Blue Galerie Lelong & Co. New YorkNew York
Contemporary art exhibition, Ficre Ghebreyesus, Gate to the Blue at Galerie Lelong & Co. New York, Online Only
Closed
17 April–16 May 2020 Ficre Ghebreyesus Gate to the Blue Galerie Lelong & Co. New YorkOnline Only

Ficre Ghebreyesus Represented By

Ficre Ghebreyesus In Ocula Magazine

ADAA The Art Show 2020 Ocula Photolog ADAA The Art Show 2020

Members of The Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) joined forces for The Art Show at the end of February (27 February–1 March 2020). The 2020 iteration saw more than half of its presentations dedicated to a single artist and 19 exhibitions focused on female artists, in addition to vibrant thematic and group surveys.

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Ficre Ghebreyesus In Video & Audio

Ficre Ghebreyesus 'The Sardine Fisherman’s Funeral' Related Video & Audio Ficre Ghebreyesus 'The Sardine Fisherman’s Funeral' 14 April 2020, Galerie Lelong & Co.

An excerpt from the film The African Sublime of Ficre Ghebreyesus: In the Studio with Julie Mehretu and Elizabeth Alexander. © The Estate of Ficre Ghebreyesus, Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co., New York

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