Reference Entry

Kosrof, Wosene

Konjit Seyoum

in Oxford Art Online


Published online March 2000 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T096597

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(Worke)

(b 1950).

Ethiopian painter active in the USA. He graduated from the Fine Arts School, Addis Ababa, in 1972 and taught there from 1976 to 1978. He obtained his MFA from Howard University, Washington, DC (1978–80). His works, initially influenced by Skunder and drawn from traditional Ethiopian art, evoke magic scrolls in motif and style, using Amharic calligraphy and the magical words of traditional healers. In his visual poetry, he disassembles and reconstructs the shapes of letters through distortion and exaggeration, making aesthetic use of both meaning and form so that painting and writing become one. Greatly influenced by graffiti and jazz, Kosrof also works in universal themes, using Pop art as his expressive medium. Because of this, his pieces have been interpreted as synthesizing Western experience and Ethiopian mysticism into a unique identity. Some of his works in acrylic or mixed media on canvas, goatskin, or wood are composed of energetic layers of rich earth tones; in others, calligraphic messages in red, gold, and/or black are presented on a simple white background. From ...

Reference Entry.  312 words. 

Subjects: Painting ; African Art (Sub-Saharan) ; Art of the United States ; 20th-Century Art ; Contemporary Art

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