Cactus 1
Megueb Bet
What is Love 17
Filega 2



1990 Graduated in graphic art from Addis Ababa University School of Fine Art and Design


2013 (Tightrope) British Council, Goethe Institut, Italian Cultlural Institute and Alliance Ethio-française
2012 (Eye of the Needle, Eye or the Heart) North Dakota Museum of Art
2011 (Ants and Ceramicists) British Council, Goethe Institut, Italian Cultlural Institute and Alliance Ethio-française

2010 (Odiepus Rex Opera) Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

2009 (Oedipus-Rex Opera) Waltz Disney concert hall, Los Angeles

2009 (Eye of the Needle, Eye of the Heart) Santa Monica Museum of Art, California

2008 (What is Love?) Alliance Ethio-française, Addis Abeba

2006 (Metamorphosis) Public Mosaic sponsored by European Union & Zoma Contemporary Art Center

2006 (GOTA Tarat-Tarat) Alliance Ethio-française, Addis Abeba

2004 (Min Neber) Italian Cultural Institute, Addis Abeba

2002 (Retrospect part 1 part of Giziawi #1) in Jara Park, Addis Abeba

1999 Hilton Hotel, Addis Ababa

1998 Addis Ababa University

1996 Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Abeba

1995 Organization of African Unity Addis Abeba

1993 Alliance Ethio-française Addis Abeba


2010 (Stitches) Tehe Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena

2009 (Täarät-Täarät) Haunch of Venison, London

2008 (The Essential Art of African Textiles: Design Without End) at the Metropolitan Museum, New York

2008 (Flow) Studio Museum in Harlem, New York

2006 (Green Flame) Peter Sellars’s New Crowned Hope, Vienna, Austria

2006 GOETHE INSTITUTE - Addis Wubet & Zoma Contemporary Art Center

2005 (Hidden Talent) European Union & Zoma Contemporary Art Center, Addis Abeba

2005 (Addis Abeba Zare) Addis Abeba University Fine Art and Design School

2004 Dak’Art Biennale 2004, 6th International Contemporary African Art, Dakar Senegal

2003 (Min Neber) Italian Cultural Institute, Addis Ababa

2002 (Giziawi #1) Meskel Square, Addis Ababa

2000 Italian Cultural Institute, Addis Ababa

1999 Alliance Ethio-Francais, Addis Ababa

1997 Goshu Gallery, Addis Ababa

1997 Joint Exhibition of Dutch-Ethiopian Artists in Holland and in Addis Ababa Fine Arts School

1995 National Museum, Addis Ababa


Elias Sime is one of the greatest visual artists working in Africa today. His work spans a wide variety of media from intricately stitched canvases, to mud and wood, to a range of found materials from computer mother boards to buttons and shoes. Few artists in Africa come close to the scale and complexity of Sime’s oeuvre which draws together the strands of contemporary life in Ethiopia together with its rich and often under acknowledged cultural history to create extraordinary works of art that resonate both with his own community and out in to the world.

“Elias Simé is something more than an artist, I'd say, from looking at his work. He's a pack rat, a teacher, a guru, a magician, a medicine man, a community organizer, an orchestrator of the reality that surrounds him where he lives. You know how the most mundane of objects can be conjured by such a person into something so heavily invested with the combined power of labor and craft, vision and intention that it assumes the burning quality of a religious icon, a talisman? To get the full impact of Simé's work, you need to multiply that effect by the thousands.
This is an artist who wastes nothing, works with anything and everything, recycles what others disregard or throw away and invests it with dignity and meaning. From what I read in the accompanying brochure, community is an essential part of his work: family and friends join with him in the creation of his art, and he spreads small wealth and creativity amongst the local children by rewarding them for bringing him the results of their scavenging. He is, in a real and pragmatic sense, a social activist.
; and it shares with all self-taught artists an audacious, sometimes bizarre originality untrammeled by conventional rules and expectations.”

Peter Clothier, The Huffington Post, May 2011

“Sime’s two- and three-dimensional works moved ably between austere modernist abstraction and dense, narrative figuration. Yet Sime is less an artist of accumulation than an expert synthesizer of disparate elements into a cogent, wide-ranging whole. And unlike many current Western artists who employ discarded materials as stand-ins for human longing or poetic traces of individual lives lived, he stitches them together to create a larger narrative that suggests the feverish fusion of a multivalent society – grand fiction or not.”

Quinn Latimer, Frieze Magazine, June 2009