New Work: a site-specific installation of recent abstract paintings on canvas
Miami Art Museum is pleased to present New Work:
Odili Donald Odita, a site-specific installation of recent abstract
paintings on canvas, a wall painting, and conceptual objects. In these
works, Odita proposes a melding of elements of Western, African, and
European cultures. New Work: Odili Donald Odita is organized by Miami Art
Museum as part of its New Work series of projects by contemporary artists.
This exhibition, curated by MAM's assistant curator, Cheryl Hartup, is the
artist's first one-person museum exhibition in the United States.
Odita is well known for his hard-edged acrylic paintings, in which angular, vibrant bands of color suggest vast panoramas spreading infinitely beyond the edges of the canvas. The artist draws from an array of influences, including television test band patterns, the Internet, electronic music, late-modernist painting, patterned wallpaper and African textiles. Although his vivid color sense and organizing principles place him within the tradition of abstract painting of the 1960s, his contemporary technological and cultural references set him apart from his progenitors.
Two sculptural installations, inspired by the artist's recent trips to Nigeria, accompany the paintings. Heaven Can Wait is a wheelbarrow full of stacks of almost worthless Nigerian currency sitting on glossy black plastic, a surface which symbolizes Nigeria's petroleum-based economy. Equal consists of 500 tiny identical one-room dwellings made of plaster, and a mound of dirt and rubble. These works are both concerned with the intersection of national history and personal memory, each in a different way. As three-dimensional objects amidst flat, but spatially suggestive paintings, the sculptures balance the paintings' sense of deep space with a more grounded, specific character.
ODILI DONALD ODITA
Born in Enugu, Nigeria, and raised in Columbus, Ohio, multimedia artist Odili Donald Odita is associate professor of painting at The Florida State University in Tallahassee. This fall he will be visiting associate professor of painting at University of South Florida in Tampa. His work has been exhibited in Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, Poland, South Africa and Switzerland. Odita received a Joan Mitchell Grant in 2001 and a Penny McCall Foundation Grant in 1994. He is a consulting editor at NKA, Journal of Contemporary African Art. Odita earned a BFA in fine art from Ohio State University and an MFA from Bennington College in Vermont.
OPENING RECEPTION AND LECTURE
The opening reception takes place on Thursday, August 22, 2002, 6 - 8 p.m., with a lecture by Odita at 6:30 p.m. MAM members and guests will have an opportunity to meet the artist and preview the installation. Free admission.
Cheryl Hartup, Associate Curator, will write the essay on Odita for the third volume of Converge, MAM's three-volume series from 1996- 2002. Each catalogue includes color and black-and-white photographs of each exhibition, and essays by international critics, curators, poets and novelists. Converge volume I is currently available at the MAM Store for $17.95 for MAM members, $19.95 for non-members, or at amazon.com. Converge volume III will be available in fall 2003.
MAM is located at 101 West Flagler Street, Miami, Florida, 33130