Painter Hana Yilma Godine Uses Ethiopian Textiles to Construct Fantastical Compositions of Women in Repose

Julia Halperin, Artnet, February 1, 2022

Hana Yilma Godine paints women in private moments: in repose on the couch, at the hair salon, preparing for a wedding. The artist, who received her MFA from Boston University in 2020, studied with celebrated Ethiopian artist Tadesse Mesfin in her hometown of Addis Ababa. The flattened perspective and elongated figures in her compositions recall classical Ethiopian iconography, while her materials—she paints on fabrics that women buy at local markets and turn into dresses—come from everyday life.


Goodine’s second U.S. solo exhibition, “A Hair Salon in Addis Ababa,” on view through March 5, spreads across two venues in New York: Fridman Gallery and Rachel Uffner Gallery. While her home country is facing civil war, Goodine imagines a parallel dimension where women are safe and free to express themselves.


We caught up with the Addis Ababa-based artist ahead of a three-month residency at Fridman’s location in Beacon, New York, about life in the studio.


What are the most indispensable items in your studio and why?


Paint and brush. I use acrylic and oil, depending on the surface, as I paint on both canvas and fabrics. The rest can be replaced.