Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Odili Donald Odita's "Third Space" closes on 12.06 at The Institute of Contemporary Art, U Penn
Odili Donald Odita's large-scale, abstract wall paintings operate at the intersection of Western modernism and African culture. Borrowing strategies of destabilized perception from Op art—a tradition condemned by formalist criticism—and adding narrative and multicultural inflection, Odita both embraces and critiques the modernist tradition. His vast, animated expanses of fractured, rhythmic planes, equally informed by television test band patterns, African textiles, post-colonial discourse, sensory overload, and digital technology, speak to a contemporary experience of dislocation and decenteredness. This is the 16th commission in ICA's Ramp Project Series.
For the Ramp, Odita will design and execute a dynamic work that responds to the unique architecture of the space.
Born in Nigeria and raised in Ohio, Odili Donald Odita (b. 1966, Enugu, Nigeria; lives Philadelphia and New York) has been developing this body of work for 10 years, at which time he was engaged, along with critic Olu Oguibe and curator Okwui Enwezor, in bringing African and diasporic art practices to critical attention through the publication NKA, Journal of Contemporary African Art.
Odita has had numerous exhibitions around the world, and was included in the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. He has had solo exhibitions at the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Jack Shaiman Gallery, New York, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio. His work will also be on view this fall at The Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town and this spring at the Center for Contemporary Art in Turin. He is an Associate Professor of Fine Art at Tyler School of Art at Temple University.