20. A Hair Salon in Addis Ababa

A painting from the exhibition A Hair Salon in Addis Ababa
Painting from the exhibition A Hair Salon in Addis Ababa. Courtesy of the artist and Fridman Gallery. Photo by Nathanale Taye.

Beginning on January 19, 2022, both the Fridman and Rachel Uffner Galleries will present the solo exhibition A Hair Salon in Addis Ababa by Ethiopian painter Hana Yilma Godine. Each gallery will present Godine’s new paintings which portray female protagonists in domestic and public spaces of their own making, drawing on everyday scenes from the artist’s hometown of Addis Ababa. Example paintings depict scenes such as wedding preparations, living rooms, and travels to the hair salon. In doing so, Godine works to present a parallel dimension to the current patriarchal and war-torn Ethiopian society where women are safe from violence and capable of freely expressing themselves.

A Hair Salon in Addis Ababa draws from traditional Ethiopian iconography. Godine’s paintings often employ a flattened perspective, elongated figures, and evenly distributed light to draw reference to the divinity of biblical subjects. At the same time, Godine’s work is grounded in reality, painting on traditional fabrics bought by women at the local market and used to make clothing. Ultimately, this juxtaposition of fiction and reality gives A Hair Salon in Addis Ababa the appearance of traveling through time, offering a futuristic worldview based on spirit, community, care, and hope. The exhibition will be on display through March 5, 2022.