Jack Shainman Gallery is pleased to announce Body & Space, the second solo exhibition at the gallery of new work by Odili Donald Odita. The exhibition opens November 18th, and runs through December 23rd. A reception for the artist will take place on Thursday, November 18th.
The ideas behind Body & Space came to me in 1999 in the middle of my own aesthetic investigation on the term, Black. Since that time, I have wanted to move beyond what I found to be the abstract nature of black, and find a space that could be more real, and more specific in the many implications and directions created through this term. I eventually found my way through Color. For myself, color is the way to become specific about black, i.e., black as skin, as a social construct, and as real experience.
Color represents freedom. It is the third space. And it is more than grey.
My exploration through color has been a search for a state of being and presence within space. I want to engage with color in terms of the politics of specificity and difference, and to speak toward individuality and of a unique distinctiveness that runs parallel to the notion of humanity itself.
should not be submissive
It cannot be subjugated
It will not obey
It should not play nice
Color is unruly
It is not for the faint of heart
It can be hard and strong
It can be bold
It can be clear and true
It can also lie
It can trick and deceive us all
Color does what it wants
But most importantly,
Color can change our minds
-Odili Donald Odita, 2010
Odili Donald Odita was born in Enugu, Nigeria and lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His work has been exhibited extensively in international solo and group exhibitions including the 52nd Venice Biennale, the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, the Matrix Art Project, Brussels, Velan Center for Contemporary Art, Torino, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. Oditas work is in numerous public and private collections including The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Birmingham Museum of Art. Odita has been the recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant for Painting and Sculpture and the ArtsLink Collaborative Projects Award in Warsaw, Poland. He will produce large scale wall paintings for ARS11 opening April 2011 at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland.