Finding Beauty in Asmara's Dark History

Eritrea is a country in the Horn of Africa, with its capital in Asmara. Mussolini’s desire to create the ‘Second Roman Empire' led to feverish construction in the years between 1935-1941, when modernism was flourishing. It remains largely as it was left when colonizers departed in 1941. It is the location of one of the world's best collections of preserved futurist architecture. Asmara may seem an unlikely place for modernism, but it shows that there is some beauty in a countries dark history. 












BARBARA HEPWORTH was a sculpture in a time when female artists were rare. Active from the 1920s to the 1960s, her earliest works were simplified forms, concentrating mostly on the organic. In the 1930s her works became almost exclusively abstract and were constructed with wood, marble, bronze, aluminum, and plaster. We love her abstract work for the way it invites the viewer to participate and the way it adapts to show different points of view.