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Odili Donald Odita


Odili Donald Odita, Cut, 2016
offset lithograph, #4/60, 29 1/4" x 20 3/4"

In his paintings, prints, and large-scale wall installations, Philadelphia-based Nigerian-American artist Odili Donald Odita (b. 1966, Enugu, Nigeria) addresses social, political, and historical themes through abstraction and color. His hand-mixed colors are unique to each work, generated intuitively and based on the artist’s personal experiences. He thinks of his colors as agents to express thoughts, ideas, and transformational change.


Cut is composed of tightly interlocking and sharply angled color fields. The title of this piece refers to the situation that occurs diagonally through the middle of the work. The dramatic juxtaposition of the two spaces creates a dynamic situation of visual slippage. On one hand, Odita is making reference to the question of unity within a visual space. At the same time, he is commenting on the display of difference, and how differences can be coexistent. 

Odita is Professor of Painting at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. He holds an MFA from Bennington College in Vermont and a BFA with distinction from Ohio State University. His work has been exhibited extensively in museums, universities, arts organizations world-wide, and can be found in the permanent collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (DC); the Studio Museum in Harlem (NY); The Dean Collection LLC (NY); the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Arts (PA); the Virginia Museum of Fine Art (VA); the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PA); the Baltimore Museum of Art (MD); the Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University (NC); the New Orleans Museum of Art (LA); Princeton University (NJ); Temple University (PA); the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA); the Birmingham Museum of Art (AL): the Mississippi Museum of Art (MS); the Newark Museum (NJ); the Pérez Art Museum (FL), and many others. In 2007, Odita represented the US at the Venice Biennale.

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