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Galerie Lelong: Dialogues | Ficre Ghebreyesus's Horizons

Galerie Lelong & Co. is pleased to hold a virtual conversation as part of "Galerie Lelong: Dialogues" between Anne Higonnet and Tausif Noor on occasion of our online viewing room presentation Ficre Ghebreyesus: Horizons.

Horizons presents a selection of intimately scaled and rarely-seen paintings created by the late artist. These paintings present a wide array of imagery that offer a glimpse into how Ghebreyesus built his expansive visual dictionary. Ranging from portraiture, landscape, to abstract color studies, an often-present horizon forms a through line that bridges the artist’s journeys with his masterful use of color.

This presentation commemorates the artist's inclusion in the 59th Venice Biennale, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani which closes this month, as well as our recent publication of the catalogue Ficre Ghebreyesus: Gate to the Blue. In those exhibitions, large-scale paintings by the artist were presented that assembled his ruminations on home—from Eritrean textiles and basketry to the rhapsody of blues—including monumental works which Ghebreyesus chose to keep unstretched. The selection of paintings in Horizons highlights the artist's equally active exploration of a much smaller, meditative scale; many works can be held easily in two hands. Observed by the art historian Anne Higonnet as complete pictorial essays on their own, Ghebreyesus's keen expression in Horizons coalesces rapturous color and motifs mined from his life’s experiences, each dynamic composition inviting viewers to take a closer look.

Anne Higonnet is Professor of Art History at Barnard College of Columbia University. She received her BA from Harvard College in 1980 and her PhD from Yale University in 1988. Her work has been recognized by Getty, Guggenheim, and Social Science Research Council fellowships, as well as by grants from the Mellon, Howard and Kress Foundations. In 2019-2020 she was a Fellow at the Harvard-Radcliffe Institute. She has published many essays, five print books, and two book-scale digital projects, is a prize-winning teacher, and has lectured widely, including in the Live Arts program of the Met Museum. Two of her courses, Introduction to Art History and Clothing, are among the most highly enrolled at Barnard or Columbia. She is now writing a book, under contract with Norton, about the fashion part of the French Revolution.

Tausif Noor is a critic, curator, and PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studies global modern and contemporary art with a particular interest in histories of nationalism and internationalism, postcolonialism, and Marxist thought. His criticism can be found in Artforum, frieze, The New York Times, The Nation, the New Yorker online, and various other periodicals, and his essays have appeared in collected volumes published by Paper Monument, as well as in artist catalogues for Alex Da Corte and Ficre Ghebreyesus. Noor has organized various exhibitions, lecture series, and events in Philadelphia and Berkeley, and previously worked at the Imperial War Museum in London; the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; and the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the Spiegel-Wilks Curatorial Fellow from 2017-2020.

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