Toyin Ojih Odutola: TBT

Toyin Ojih Odutola: TBT

On October 20, 2017, Whitney Museum of American Art will present TBT, a solo exhibition of paintings by Nigerian-born artist, Toyin Ojih Odutola. She presents a significant new body of work alongside a small selection of earlier works, produced in the last year.

Ojih Odutola’s intimate drawings explore the complexity and malleability of identity. Depicted in a distinctive style of intricate mark-making, her sumptuous compositions reimagine the genre and traditions of portraiture. Here, she presents an interconnected series of fictional portraits, chronicling the lives of two aristocratic Nigerian families.

Rendered life-size in charcoal, pastel, and pencil, Toyin 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 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 colour—whether of palette or skin—Ojih Odutola continues her examinations of narrative, authenticity, and representation.

The exhibition is organised by Rujeko Hockley, assistant curator and Melinda Lang, curatorial assistant.

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