Tariku Shiferaw


acrylic on canvas
48 x 36 inches

Tariku Shiferaw is known for his practice of mark-making that explores the metaphysical ideas of painting and societal structures. This formal language of geometric abstraction is executed through densely layering material to create “marks,” gestures that interrogate space-making and reference the hierarchy of systems. As the artist explains, “A mark, as physical and present as cave-markings… reveals the thinker behind the gesture—an evidence of prior markings of ideas and self onto the space.”

Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, growing up in Los Angeles, and currently based in New York City, Shiferaw finds inspiration from the diverse cultures in his environments, particularly in the areas of music and language. Shiferaw’s ongoing series of paintings One of These Black Boys references musical genres that have originated in Black communities—Hip-hop, R&B, Reggae, Afrobeats, Blues, and Jazz—a context that charges the works with musical references, identities, and cultural histories. Museum exhibitions that have presented works by Tariku Shiferaw include The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; You’d Think By Now at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, New York; Geometries at Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, New York; Men of Change, organized by The Smithsonian Institution, and held at the California African American Museum (CAAM), Los Angeles; Unbound at the Zuckerman Museum of Art (ZMA), Kennesaw, Georgia; What’s Love Got to Do with It? at The Drawing Center, New York, New York;  A Poet*hical Wager at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Ohio; and the 2017 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

[excerpted from Galerie Lelong & Co. website: www.galerielelong.com]