Crocker Art Museum
Timed Auction

Live Auction 2023

Sat, Jun 3, 2023 09:00PM EDT - Sun, Jun 4, 2023 01:00AM EDT
Lot 109


Estimate: $12,600 - $15,400

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,500 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
$500,000 $50,000
$1,000,000 $100,000

Wosene Worke Kosrof
Portrait of a Word III
Acrylic on linen
34 x 19 in.
Fair market value: $14000



Born in Ethiopia in 1950, Wosene (his professional name) is best known for his inventive renderings of the Amharic script, and as a master translator of the human experience. He is the first Ethiopian-born painter to use the script forms in contemporary art, inspired by the rich Ethiopian iconography and written traditions in which word and image are deployed to create aesthetically compelling objects of devotion and healing. In Wosene’s paintings, however, the words themselves become images and icons, beyond any literal meanings. This slippage between the visual and literal dimensions of script amounts to a kind of epiphany that reveals the aesthetic, sensory, even kinetic potential of the written word. Since his student years in Addis Ababa, American jazz has asserted a significant influence on his work. Like jazz music, the script provides a repertoire of dense, yet supple, elements that lend themselves well to visual improvisation. Jazz also shapes his sense of composition: like improvisational music, the language symbols can be juxtaposed on canvas in nonverbal ‘word-plays’ that create a visual language of form and color, rhythm and movement. Academically trained as a fine artist with a BFA from the School of Fine arts in Addis Ababa and an MFA from Howard University in Washington, DC, Wosene has gained critical attention on the international art scene with works in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA; National Museum of Ethiopia; The Newark Museum, NJ; Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY; Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; Keith Haring Museum of Japan, Kobuchizawa;Volkerkunde Museum in Switzerland, to name a few, and in many international private collections.



Overall Dimensions
Height: 34.00
Width: 19.00

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