February 29, 2020 - May 24, 2020
Elias Sime: Tightrope, the first major traveling survey dedicated to the Ethiopian artist’s work, features numerous large-scale tableaus. Sime draws from a range of influences, including linguistics, botany, artistic movements and topographic photography. This noteworthy exhibition includes two works created specifically for the show alongside a large selection from the Tightrope series, in addition to several earlier stitched canvases. From afar, these works give the appearance of abstract paintings. However, upon closer inspection, one sees these color-block compositions are assembled from unexpected materials like motherboards, buttons and electrical wire. First conceiving of a composition, Sime then sources the items to realize his concept, often purchasing them new or utilizing materials he has collected. In some cases, it takes him years to finish a work because he must locate a sufficient quantity of a specific material to complete a composition. Sime weaves his materials into breathtaking artworks that express a sense of personal connection. “There is a sense of unity and cooperation that I reflect through my art,” he says. “At the root of all of it is love and passion.” For more about Elias Sime: Exhibition Video Air Mail News | Elias Sime: Tightrope ARTFORUM | Elias Sime BOMB Magazine | Social Sculpture: Elias Sime Interviewed by Louis Bury Everett Potter's Travel Report | From Addis Ababa to Clinton, NY: Elias Sime at the Wellin Museum of Art Galerie Magazine | Ethiopian Artist Elias Sime's First Major Show Goes on View at the Wellin Museum Hyperallergic | Love and Craftsmanship in the Relationship Between Machines and Humanity Elias Sime: Tightrope is organized by the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, Clinton, New York. Its presentation in Akron is made possible through the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Ohio Arts Council; the Kenneth L. Calhoun Charitable Trust, KeyBank, Trustee; Katie and Mark Smucker; and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph S. Kanfer.