Kunbi compartmentalizes his pictorial space with his color palette, a powerful translation of his African roots that includes bold swathes of red and ochre as well as an array of blues and greens. Gradually, regions are further segmented while other areas merge as Kunbi skillfully layers vividly saturated colors that are thick with texture. Beneath his foreground, the history of his process remains visible, allowing viewers to pick apart the process at their leisure.
Within Kunbi’s paintings is an honest commitment to the values and possibilities of abstract art – the ability of color to serve as an “international language” and the potential to transcend the concrete through beauty and intuition. His paintings reward extended viewing, providing a space for personal exploration through each individual’s personal relationship with color.
Tegene Kunbi was born in Ethiopia in 1980. He received his BFA from the University of Addis Ababa in 2004. Through 2009 he continued his education at the Universität der Künste Berlin. Recent exhibitions include Galerie Gerken (Berlin, DE) and the Goethe Institute (Göttingen, DE.). The artist is the recipient of the prestigious DAAD scholarship.