Toyin Ojih Odutola: To Wander Determined
For her first solo museum exhibition in New York, Toyin Ojih Odutola presents an interconnected series of fictional portraits, chronicling the lives of two aristocratic Nigerian families. 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.
@ Whitney Museum, New York, USA
Short (just one large room) yet nice exhibit. Accessible for free. I liked the style of the paintings and it is interesting to discover a small part of the Nigerian high society culture which I am not at all familiar with.