Odili Donald Odita: Third SpaceSeptember 5, 2008 - December 6, 2009
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.
Third Space, a symphony of irregularly shaped, fractured planes in 115 shades of housepaint, takes full advantage of the Ramp’s soaring, sloping architecture.
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.
This exhibition is organized by Whitney Lauder Curatorial Fellow Stamatina Gregory, and will be accompanied by a brochure publication.
Installation views at ICA. Photos by Aaron Igler. > click to enlarge
ICA acknowledges primary sponsorship of the William Penn Foundation for this project. Additional funding has been provided by: The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; The Dietrich Foundation, Inc.; the Overseers Board for the Institute of Contemporary Art; friends and members of ICA; and the University of Pennsylvania. ICA is also grateful for in-kind support from Jack Shainman Gallery.
Related Public Programs:
Whenever Wednesday: Conversation: Odita and Nasgaard
wed oct 29 @ 7pm
The eminent historian, critic, and curator Roald Nasgaard, who specializes in twentieth-century abstraction and its regional variations, talks with ICA Ramp Project artist Odili Donald Odita about nonrepresentational art and its manifestation as a form within a global context in the twenty-first century.