Abel Tilahun is an internationally acclaimed artist who works across traditional and emerging art forms. At the heart of his work is a concern for both the cutting edge and the long arc of history.
Tilahun was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1983 and grew up in an artistic environment. His mother is a professionally-trained clarinetist and his father is an engineer who enjoys painting. Tilahun spent much of his childhood backstage in the Ethiopian National Theatre, absorbing set design, music, storytelling, and performance. He earned his BFA in Sculpture from Addis Ababa University, Alle School of Fine Arts and Design in 2006. After moving to the United States, he earned his MA in Fine Art from Adams State University in 2010 and was recognized as the Cloyde Snook Scholar of 2009-2010.
Since his first solo show in 2007, “The Blueprint,” Tilahun has exhibited his work on three continents. He has held 2 subsequent solo shows, the most recent of which, “Interface Effect,” was held from May-June 2014 in the Alliance Ethio-Francaise in Addis Ababa. This show, as well as a number of group exhibitions in which Tilahun has participated, were curated by renowned independent curator Meskerem Assegued. Tilahun's work is also featured within the three-artist video art exhibition “Curvature of Events,” which was curated by Assegued in Dresden's celebrated New Master's Gallery at the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. This show opened on October 16, 2014 and will be on display until January 4, 2015.
Alongside his studio practice in Washington, D.C. and Addis Ababa, Tilahun also teaches at American University in Washington D.C. as an adjunct professor of digital imaging, motion graphics, and animation. Tilahun married scholar-filmmaker Isabelle Zaugg in 2007 and is the father of three children.