Robel Temesgen's paintings and works on paper depict water, land and air in various states of fusion and transformation - turbulent or calm, bathed in a surreal, scintillating light. These ethereal landscapes are inspired by the longstanding Ethiopian belief of adbar and its associated rituals. In Amharic, the term 'adbar' refers to the embodiment of protective spirits within various elements of the natural landscape, such as lakes, mountains, rocks or trees.
Born in 1987 in Ethiopia, Robel Temesgen received an MFA from Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art, University of Tromsø, Norway in 2015, and a BFA in Fine Art (Painting) from Addis Ababa University in 2010. He recently took part in the Junge Akademie Program of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and was a resident artist at IASPIS, Stockholm, the Swedish Art Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual and Applied Arts. Temesgen’s work has been exhibited at the Fendika Cultural Centre (2018), Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2017), Marabohparken, Stockholm (2017), the Hamber Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2016), Kurant Visningsrom, Tromsø (2015), Addis International Video Art Festival, Addis Ababa (2015), Art Future/Future Signs, Riga (2015), RomeAfrica Film Festival, Rome (2015), Lumen Festival, New York (2015), Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2014) and Modern Art Museum/Gebre Kristos Desta Center, Addis Ababa (2013). He currently lives and works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.