Sime, Elias
Born 1968 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Lives and works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Elias Sime is a multi-disciplinary artist best known for his inventive use of reclaimed electronic materials in his collages and sculptural reliefs. His unorthodox materials include Soviet-era transistors, computer motherboards, brightly coloured electrical wires, and other e-waste that has been sent to trash heaps across the African continent, eventually washing up in the open-air markets of Addis Ababa. Sime achieves effects from dense narrative to austere modernist abstraction. Some works recall pure colour-field painting while others refer to architectonic geometries and textile patterns. The artist resists the collagist’s shorthand of using discarded objects as poetic stand-ins for individual lives and instead finds renewal everywhere, taking the greatest interest in new ways that objects and ideas connect. With curator and anthropologist Meskerem Assegued, Sime founded and designed the Zoma Museum in Addis Ababa. Upcoming exhibitions include Elias Sime: Tightrope, the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art, Clinton, NY (2019).
Elias Sime, TIGHTROPE: (17) While Observing…, 2018, Reclaimed electrical wires and components on panel, 184.8 x 120.7 cm. Courtesy James Cohan |Elias Sime, Tightrope: Contrast, 2017, Reclaimed electrical wires on panel, 73 x 158 inches / 185.4 x 401.3 cm, Courtesy James Cohan Gallery