Odili Donald Odita opens at Jack Shainman Gallery



Third Sun is the fifth solo-exhibition of vibrant paintings by Odili Donald Odita presented by Jack Shainman Gallery in NY. The new works continue to explore significant themes to the artist, including ideas of celebration and subjectivity. Odita was born in Enugu, Nigeria and lives and works in Philadelphia. He has been commissioned to paint many large-scale wall installations, most recently in 2017 at the Newark Museum, and in 2015 at the Nasher Museum. In 2007, Odita’s large installation Give Me Shelter was featured prominently in the 52nd Venice Biennale exhibition Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind, curated by Robert Storr.

“It is my intention to utilize the idea of ‘celebration’ as a performative for freedom. Celebration is integral to forming and shaping the identity of people within cultures. It provides a way of acknowledging the existence of oneself, and one’s accomplishments in this space. It caps the end of events, and lights the way into each new day.

On another hand, I want to look into the expression of resistance as a choice against forces wanting to shut down, flatten, and nullify this sentiment at any, and all costs. Be it racial and religious conformity, or simple greed, there exists a virulent, global political dynamic that has only one conclusion – a world that returns only to them, or no world at all.

In this time of mortal coil, where division and hate have become the rule of our day, struggle that attempts to instill growth and change is all the more pertinent for our continued survival. Celebration is the force that can remind us of our success on this count, and it can pave the way for future and further action in this regard.

Celebration necessitates continuity. It’s an expression of our persistent reach for freedom, and it’s a force that demands to be seen, heard, and realized in profuse glory. Celebration is our fight for the creative spirit to revel in the affirmation of possibility, wonder, and joy that can be experienced in the constant and evolving action of life in our world.” -Odili Donald Odita, December, 2017 .

Image: Odili Donald Odita, The Velocity of Change, 2015, acrylic latex wall paint, dimensions variable, OD15.015, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.