Goodman Gallery presents INNER VIEWS, Michal Worke’s first solo presentation in London. This exhibition of recent paintings is inspired by the artist’s return to Ethiopia for a residency in 2021.
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At three years old, Worke moved from Ethiopia to Israel – via Sudan – with her family as part of “Operation Moses” in the 1980s. Once Michal’s family arrived in Israel they settled and lived in Netanya. Her work offers a reflection on the struggles of survival and sense of home relating to the artist’s personal experiences as well as more global issues around migration.
Worke combines a distinct figurative style – deliberately naive and brightly coloured – with feminist sensibilities, exploring identity and, at times, directly referencing the practice of the late Portuguese-British artist Paula Rego. The artist creates autobiographical paintings, combining self-portraits with portraits of her family and community. Laden with symbolism, these latest paintings feature recurring objects and sentimental items of clothing. For example, the Netela, a traditional handmade scarf worn by Ethiopian and Eritrean women appears in Worke’s most recent paintings to invoke the Ethiopian diasporic experience and is a visual signifier shared by communities in Israeli, where the artist now resides.
Michal Worke (b. Ethiopia, 1982) moved to Israel in 1984 as part of “Operation Moses”, an experience that has profoundly shaped her studio practice.
Worke studied painting and drawing at HaTahana Studio from 2007-2008, after which she received a Certificate in Multidisciplinary Art from Musrara (2008-2010) and attended Shenkar College of Art (2010-2013). She now lives and works in Tel Aviv.
In 2019 Worke received the Meron Sima Award for Visual Arts from Artists’ House, Jerusalem and in 2020 was awarded the Mitchell and Lauren Prize for Contemporary Art from the Herzliya Museum.
Institutional solo exhibitions include Portrait Time (2020) at Herzliya Museum, Herzliya; Portrait of Many Portraits (2019) and I am black and I am proud (2017) both at The Artists’ House, Tel Aviv. Group exhibitions include Pictures from Family Life (2018) at Eretz Israel Museum and A Woman for Sisters (2017) at Herzl Lillenblum Museum.
Goodman Gallery would like to thank Tamar Arnon and Eli Zagury for their support in developing this exhibition.
Courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery