Art In America

Elias Sime

at James Cohan,
533 West 26th Street

Ethiopian artist Elias Sime has long use reclaimed materials—yarn, buttons, building supplies, bottle caps, electronic waste—in his large-scale collages and mixed-medium sculptures. He sources the e-waste from recycling markets in his hometown of Addis Ababa, turning electrical wire, motherboards, cell phones, and keyboards into incredibly dense, intricately constructed wall pieces. Most of the works in “Twisted & Hidden,” his current show, are made up of panels of woven electrical wire. Some, like Tightrope: The Dominant and Tightrope: Evolution (1), include shapes that appear to be human or animal forms, while Tightrope: Against the Wave, Tightrope: Behind the Beauty, and others are purely abstract fields of color. In one of the most gripping works in the show, Tightrope: Narcissism, a trapezoidal raft of electronic bits floats on seemingly endless sea of pink, orange, and red-braided wires. —Leigh Anne Miller


Pictured: Elias Sime: Tightrope: Narcissism, 2017, reclaimed electrical wires on panel, 64 by 94 inches. Courtesy James Cohan, New York.

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