Monographs on African Artists an Annotated Bibliography
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Gebre Kristos Desta, 1932-1981

Gebre Kristos Desta: the painter-poet. Addis Ababa: Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University, 2006. 138pp. illus. (pt. color), portratis. N7386.3.D47G43 2006 AFA. OCLC 83785603.

Gebre Kristos Desta, one of Ethiopia's most revered modern artists, is not well known internationally except in Germany where he studied art in Cologne, in Ethiopian circles and in the hearts and minds of his students. He died relatively young at age 50, a refugee from the Derg, Ethiopia's socialist reguine, in Lawton, Oklahoma.

In the 1960s and 1970s before he fell afoul of the Derg, Gebre Kristos Desta flourished and was feted. The newness of his modernist paintings were not fully appreciated in tradition-bound Ethiopia, but he enjoyed the patronage of Emperor Haile Selassie and is now credited with introducing Modernism to Ethiopia. When Gebre Kristos Desta fled Ethiopia, he sought refuge in Germany but was refused. Now many years later Germany is seeking to make amends. A new museum in Addis Ababa funded by the German government is deovted to Gebre Kristos Desta with its collection comprised of his paintings repatriated from Germany where they had been in storage at the Museum für Völkerkunde Munich.

Contents: Gebre Kristos Desta, Ethiopia's painter and poet extraordinaire: a biography / Achamyeleh Debela -- State and society in Ethiopia (1930's to 1970's): contextualising Gebre Kristos Desta / Shiferaw Bekele -- Gebre Kristos--through the eyes of friends and relatives / Rita Pankhurst -- Gebre Kristos Desta reflected by his former students / Elisabeth Biasio -- German expressionism and the art of Gebre Kristos Desta / Elizabeth W. Giorgis -- Notes from Gebre Kristos' Cologne years / Yohannes Gedamu -- Gebre Kristos Desta: the painter's eye, the poet's hand / Heran Sereke-Brhan -- Catalogue of paintings by Gebre Kristos Desta.