Toyin Ojih Odutola: To Wander Determined at The Whitney Museum of American Art

 

 

Toyin Ojih Odutola (b. 1985), Pregnant, 2017. Charcoal, pastel and pencil on paper, 74 1/2 × 42 in. (189.2 × 106.7 cm) ©Toyin Ojih Odutola. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

For her first solo museum exhibitionin New York, Toyin Ojih Odutola presents an interconnected series of fictional portraits, chronicling the lives of two aristocratic Nigerian families opening at The Whitney Museum on October 20th.

Ojih Odutola (b. 1985) creates intimate drawings that explore the complexity and malleability of identity. Depicted in her distinctive style of intricate mark-making, her sumptuous compositions reimagine the genre and traditions of portraiture.

Rendered life-size in charcoal, pastel, and pencil, Ojih Odutola’s figures appear enigmatic and mysterious, set against luxurious backdrops of domesticity and leisure. They, and the worlds they inhabit, are informed by the artist’s own array of inspirations, which range from art history to popular culture to experiences of migration and dislocation. Highly attentive to detail and the nuances of space, class, and color—whether of palette or skin—Ojih Odutola continues her examinations of narrative, authenticity, and representation.

Toyin Ojih Odutola (b. 1985), Years Later – Her Scarf, 2017. Charcoal, pastel and pencil on paper, 72 × 42 in. (182.9 × 106.7 cm) ©Toyin Ojih Odutola. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Toyin Ojih Odutola: To Wander Determined presents a significant new body of work alongside a small selection of earlier works, produced in the last year.

This exhibition is organized by Rujeko Hockley, assistant curator and Melinda Lang, curatorial assistant.

Toyin Ojih Odutola (b. 1985), Wall of Ambassadors, 2017. Charcoal, pastel and pencil on paper, 40 × 30 in. (101.6 × 76.2 cm) ©Toyin Ojih Odutola. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Toyin Ohih Odutola: To Wander Determined will open on October 20th at The Whitney Museum of American Art, located at 99 Gansevoort Street.

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