ULRICH PROJECT SERIES:
ODILI DONALD ODITA
January 17 - April 26, 2009
In Odili Donald Odita’s dynamic paintings, seemingly countless colored wedges collide
and fuse across the surface of the canvas. For the artist, these complex interlocking
geometries and hues function as meditations on his multicultural experiences. Nigerianborn
and Ohio-raised, Odita draws upon a wide swath of visual imagery in his work: from
television test band patterns and mid-20th-century wallpaper patterns to memories
of landscapes both local and global. Although these works are deeply personal, they
also address broader themes.
For Odita, the idea of fusion--of merging these diverse and distinct elements into
a unified whole--is crucial. He writes, "The fusion I seek is one that can represent
a type of living within a world of difference. No matter the discord, I believe through
art there is a way to weave the different parts into an existent whole, where metaphorically
the notion of a common humanity can be understood as real."
In his Wichita exhibition, Television, Odita will work on colored Plexiglas surfaces, utilizing their reflective properties
in his energetic compositions. Odita explains his inspiration for this installation
comes from that split-second flash of light that fills a television screen just after
it’s been turned on, but before the image appears. For him, this moment of pure illumination,
devoid of image or sound, is both "abstraction in the purest sense" and "a point of
beginning and possibility." Odita has exhibited his work around the globe, most recently
at the 52nd Venice Biennale, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, the
Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.
The Ulrich museum is thrilled to welcome him to Wichita as a Project Series artist.
PDF of Odili Donald Odita Gallery Guide (low-res web version)