Tesfaye Urgessa


*1983 Addis Abeba, Ethiopia
2006 Alle School of Fine Art and Design, Addis Abeba
2009–2014 Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart, master student Prof. Cordula Güdemann
  Lives and works in Nürtingen

Grants / Scholarships

2014 Prize of the Staatlichen Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart
2010 Camillo-Michele-Gloria-Preis, GasVersorgung Süddeutschland, Stuttgart

Solo exhibitions

2020 Nach Wind greifen, Kreuzkirche, Nürtingen
2019 Übersehe mich nicht, Galerie Schrade, Schloß Mochental
  No country for young men, Addis Fine Art, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  Von denen die auszogen, Städtische Galerie Villa Streccius, Landau
  Atemzug, Galerie Tobias Schrade, Ulm
  oltra, Uffizien, Florence, Italy
2017 Auszeit, Galerie der Stadt Wendlingen
  free fall, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
2015 Tesfaye Urgessa Soloshow, Nationaltheater, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia
2011 Attachment, Kulturverein Nürtingen
2008 Like ha hu, Nationaltheater, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

Group exhibitions

2020 WAS MEINEN SIE, FRAU HOFFMANN?, Galerie Abtart, Stuttgart
  Ich halte dich festhalten, Schacher - Raum für Kunst, Stuttgart
2017 Nachts allein im Atelier IV, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
  Nackt Galerie Tobias Schrade, Ulm
2016 Fremdkörper, Galerie Schacher - Raum für Kunst, Stuttgart
2015 Hängung #1, GersonHöger Galerie, Hamburg
  22. Bundeswettbewerb, Bundeskunsthalle Bonn
2014 Debütanten-Ausstellung, Neubau II, Kunstakademie Stuttgart
  Leibeigenschaften, Schacher - Raum für Kunst, Stuttgart
2013 Doppelgänger, Schacher - Raum für Kunst, Stuttgart
2012 Heimatrand, Klasse Güdemann, Akademie der Diözose Rottenburg-Stuttgart, Hohenheim
  One Painting, Five Artists, Akademie Solitude, Stuttgart
  Zwischenich, Winzerverein Meersburg
2011 Kunst im Kessel, Horvath und Partners, Stuttgart
  Herbstzeitlose, Galerie Strzelski, Stuttgart

I try to paint as I would talk to a friend with whom I can share anything. As a painter, every day when I go to the studio, I always let myself be surprised by what happens during the creative process. It doesn’t matter if my thoughts are unorganized or I have no ideas while I’m working – or if I willingly embrace them whenever they do emerge. For me, the whole painting process is based on knowing from experience that there is nothing that I paint that has not in some way to do with myself and my environment. 

Whenever I paint, I try not to portray particular people that I know, even though they have initiated many thoughts over the course of my work. What interests me is the physical make-up of people, how they evolve regarding political and societal relationships. So people are the most important elements in my pictures. They’re a kind of language, a concept, embodied in human flesh. It is for this reason that I am also interested in their nakedness and exposure. In a certain way they uncover a part of that reality that we often hide in a stubborn, calculated, and artificial way. I take great trouble to make my figures appear as animated as possible – not in the sense of a perfect adaptation of their shell but rather like a helium balloon in human form and corresponding colour. The representation of skin is therefore also of minor importance for me.

Tesfaye Urgessa