Odili Donald Odita is an abstract painter
whose work explores colour both
in the historical context of figurative art
and in its socio-political aspects.
Odita has said,
“Colour embodies the possibility of mirroring
the complexity of the world, to the same degree
as it has the potential to be something in itself.
The organization and motifs of the paintings are of my invention.
In my paintings, I continue to search for a metaphorical ability
to examine the human condition through patterns,
structure and design, along with their capability of evoking memories.”
Odita has also expressed his desire to speak out,
in his work, for Africa and its rich culture.
In recent years,
Odita has been commissioned to paint a number
of large-format wall installations, including the mural at
The United States Mission at the United Nations in New York (2011),
at the Savannah College of Art and Design (2012),
New York Presbyterian Hospital (2012),
New Orleans Museum of Art, Kiasma, Helsinki (2011)
and George C. Young, Tribunal and Federal Building in Orlando, Florida (2013).
Odita has exhibited in museums and institutions worldwide
including the Savannah College of Art and Design;
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco;
Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston;
Studio Museum in Harlem;
Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia;
Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita;
and Princeton University.
His works are present in public and private collection,
amongst which The American Council on Education, Washington;
The Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama;
The Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington;
The Miami Art Museum, Florida;
The Philadelphia Museum of Art;
and The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York.
His most recent solo shows include:
Evolving Geometries: Line, Form, and Color, Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, United States, 2014;
Third Degree of Separation, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa, 2015;
and The Velocity of Change, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, 2015.
Odita was born in 1966 in Enugu, in Nigeria.
He lives and works in Philadelphia, in the United States.
He received the Penny McCall Foundation Grant in 1994,
the Joan Mitchell Foundation grant in 2001
and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant in 2007.
Also in 2007, his large installation Give Me Shelter
was presented in the exhibition
Think with your senses, sense with your mind,
curated by Robert Storr, at the 52nd Venice Biennale.