Sep 5, 2008–Dec 6, 2009

Odili Donald Odita: Third Space

Odili Donald Odita: Third Space, 2008. Installation view, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania.

Odili Donald Odita’s large-scale, abstract wall paintings operate at the intersection of Western modernism and African culture. Borrowing strategies of destabilized perception from Op art—a tradition condemned by formalist criticism—and adding narrative and multicultural inflection, Odita both embraces and critiques the modernist tradition. His vast, animated expanses of fractured, rhythmic planes, equally informed by television test band patterns, African textiles, post-colonial discourse, sensory overload, and digital technology, speak to a contemporary experience of dislocation and decenteredness. This is the 16th commission in ICA’s Ramp Project Series and will be on view September 5, 2008-December 9, 2009.

Third Space, a symphony of irregularly shaped, fractured planes in 115 shades of housepaint, takes full advantage of the Ramp’s soaring, sloping architecture.Born in Nigeria and raised in Ohio, Odili Donald Odita (b. 1966, Enugu, Nigeria; lives Philadelphia and New York) has been developing this body of work for 10 years, at which time he was engaged, along with critic Olu Oguibe and curator Okwui Enwezor, in bringing African and diasporic art practices to critical attention through the publication NKA, Journal of Contemporary African Art.

Installation Views
ICA acknowledges primary sponsorship of the William Penn Foundation for this project. Additional funding has been provided by: The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; The Dietrich Foundation, Inc.; the Overseers Board for the Institute of Contemporary Art; friends and members of ICA; and the University of Pennsylvania. ICA is also grateful for inkind support from Jack Shainman Gallery.