Abraham Abebe: “ጉዞ = Journey”
Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery
500 S. Grand Central Parkway, Las Vegas, NV
Monday, May 18 - Friday, July 10, 2015
Reception on Friday, May 22 from 6-8 pm with artist talk at 6:30 pm
“ጉዞ = Journey” is a new exhibit of three-dimensional abstract paintings by Abraham Abebe on display from May 18 through July 10 at the Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway. A reception will be held from 6 to 8 pm on Friday, May 22, with an artist talk at 6:30 pm in Pueblo Room.
"ጉዞ" is an Amharic word pronounced “guzo” and meaning “journey.” Artist Abraham Abebe began depicting probability in his paintings after ruminating about his own odds-defying journey from his birthplace of Ethiopia to Las Vegas. Provoked by thoughts of his improbable trek to another country so different from his own and the correlation of the role “probability” plays in his new home of Las Vegas, Abebe became acutely aware of how chance is all around us. We are constantly taking risks in the quest for greater gains, and that risk can be such an invigorating and powerful catalyst for growth that many seek and create new man-made opportunities for chance. Abebe was struck by this tendency while watching a news story about Nevadans, surrounded by gambling, yet traveling out of their way to state borders and waiting in long lines for the sake of risking their money in a multi-million dollar lottery.
Utilizing this game of chance, the artist inputs numbers from lottery tickets into engineering software. The resulting graphed designs generated by the software serve as the basis for his paintings, which resemble geometric tribal patterns. Abebe pushes the element of chance further by painting with colors that correspond to his disposition at the time, and arbitrarily constructing the canvases into sculptural forms—taking a design originally built on an flat x and y-axis and adding a z-axis to attain three-dimensional depth.
Abraham Abebe, originally of Ethiopia, moved to Nevada in 2003. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Graphic Design, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Studio Arts from UNLV. Abebe has exhibited in solo and group shows in Reno, Las Vegas and Australia. Most recently, he exhibited his thesis exhibit at Donna Beam Art Gallery in Las Vegas.