Michael Tsegaye and Dawit Abebe at The St. Regis Rome.
October 17th  - November 7th 2019

“After 20 years of more or less successful attempts, African creation is finally capturing the hearts and minds of international collectors. A new era is starting for Contemporary African art which has now established firm outlets in places like Venice and New York.
Twenty years ago, Sotheby’s sold a selection of African works from Jean Pigozzi’s famous collection (24 June 1999, London). The sale marked a turning point, as it was the first big sale organized by a major international company. The price of the works was low (not more than $18,000), but almost all the lots sold (88%). 20 years later, Sotheby’s turnover on African art sales has grown tenfold and its Modern & Contemporary African Art sale in April 2019 generated a total of $3 million from a similar number of lots, implying a very sharp rise in prices.”
[The Contemporary Art Market Report 2019, Thierry Ehrmann]

The Foundation, founded by the lawyer Monica Cembrola in 2015, aims to preserve the central role of art in society has an instrument of public utility. The proceeds from the sales of the artworks are partly donated to the constitution of fellowships and residencies for emerging artists. For this purpose, the Foundation cooperates with L’Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts de Paris and the Fine Arts School of Addis Abeba.
For the exhibition located in the prestigious The St. Regis Rome, Monica Cembrola for Art Foundation decide to expose two Ethiopian artists of growing international importance. Through photography for Michael Tsegaye, with works already exhibited at the Maxxi Museum of Rome, and through drawings and painting for Dawit Abebe, the two artists tell the contradictions of the contemporary world, offering the western audience a taste of the changes that in a (more or less) evident way are changing the face of an entire continent.

MICHAEL TSEGAYE (1975, Addis Abeba)
He graduates in painting at the Addis Abeba University’s School Of Fine Arts and Design in 2002, but he must stop because of an allergy to oil painting. Because of that, he discovers his passion for photographies that made him an important and recognized professional. In 2011 he wins the first prize at the European Union-African Union photography competition. Some of his exhibitions are: Toronto’s Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival (2019), “Gimme Shelter”, Cleveland Print Room, Cleveland, USA (2019), Road to justice, MAXXI, Roma (2018), Recent Histories, Contemporary African Photography and Video Art, Walther Collection Museum in Germania (2017), Ankober, Addis Fine Art, Addis Abba (2015-2016), Medecins Sans Frontiers, National Museum Addis Ababa (2011), For a Sustainable World, African Photography Biennal 9th Edition, (2011), Aksum Rediscovered: The Reinstallation of the Obelisk, The UNESCO House, Paris, France (2009).

DAWIT ABEBE (1978, Addis Abeba)
In Abebe’s observations of the human being, strange figures turn their backs to the spectator and the world. A social critic emerges from the artworks, touching social, political and historical theme and the human relationship with technology. A parallel world re-imagined by the artist, with hybrid and distorted figures emerging from the cities and dominating them. Has exposed at: Trade Roots, Kirstin Hjellegerde, London; Cutlog Art Fair, Paris; Al Bastakiya Art Fair, Dubai; East Africa Art Biennale, Tanzania; The East African Encounters at Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi. Some of his works are part of the permanent collection of the Saatchi Art Gallery of London. di Londra. He has received the Légion d’Honneur from the French Republic.

The iconic The St. Regis Rome, always been considered among the best examples of high-level European hospitality and recently renovated, is, once again, ready to support and initiatives related to contemporary art. This time exposing the works of Michael Tsegaye and Dawit Abebe, in collaboration with the Monica Cembrola for Art Foundation. From 17th October to 7th November in the renovated and contemporary spaces of the majestic lobby and the elegant Sala Borromeo, will welcome 18 of the best artworks of this two Ethiopian artists: ready to be admired.


Monica Cembrola for Art Foundation