Discovering Contemporary Art in Addis Ababa

Mesai Haileleul and Rakeb Sile, founders of Addis Fine Art (photo: Selamta Magazine)

The best places in Ethiopia’s capital to view modern art from the past and present centuries.

Ethiopia has a centuries-long tradition of fine art expression. Modern art is a more recent phenomenon, but Addis Ababa has had a contemporary art scene for over half a century. Today, there are numerous places around the capital city to view creative modern art expressions from both emerging and established artists. From mid-20th century expressionism to digitally-manipulated photography, Addis Ababa’s art scene has much to offer curious art lovers from around the world.

Addis Fine Art

Described as one of the most important young galleries in the world by Artsy, Addis Fine Art is the capital’s leading contemporary gallery that focuses on the art of Ethiopia and its diaspora. Founded by Rakeb Sile and Mesai Haileleul, the gallery was conceived in 2013. Three years later, in January 2016, they opened the gallery’s main space in the heart of Addis Ababa with an innovative program of exhibitions, talks and events, featuring a diverse set of contemporary artists. The gallery quickly became the go-to place for Ethiopian art and, in October 2016, they opened a sister space in London to connect the artists with collectors in European markets.

Participating in many international art fairs, from New York to Cape Town, Addis Fine Art continues to hit great heights for its championing of Africa’s under-represented, yet rich contemporary fine art scene. Future plans are to expand the gallery. This includes moving their international platform to London’s Cromwell Place in South Kensington, to focus on artists in the diaspora, and bring the local and diaspora narratives together.

Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10AM – 1PM, 2PM- 6PM. 
+251 980 635 696,

Read more at: Selamta Magazine