Nigerian-American Artist Toyin Ojih Odutola Shows At The Whitney

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Nigerian American artist, Toyin Ojih Odutola recently had an opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art. This was her first solo exhibition in NYC, To Wander Determined.

According to ELLE, Ojih Odutola is one of many young artists of color who are stepping outside of the conventional bounds of visibility and pushing past gatekeepers by utilizing channels like social media, television, and personal websites.

Toyin Ojih Odutola
Installation view of Toyin Ojih Odutola: To Wander Determined (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 20, 2017–February 25, 2017). From left to right: Pregnant, 2017; Years Later—Her Scarf, 2017; Unfinished Commission of the Late Baroness, 2017.


“Inspired by pop culture, migration, and her experiences coming of age as a Nigerian in conservative Alabama, To Wander Determined is an interconnected series of life-sized fictional portraits, rendered in charcoal, pastel, and pencil, chronicling the lives of two aristocratic Nigerian families.”

Toyin Ojih Odutola
Toyin Ojih Odutola. Wall of Ambassadors, 2017. Charcoal, pastel and pencil on paper, 40 x 30 inches. ©Toyin Ojih Odutola. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.


Speaking about the collection, “The skin for me, that’s where my career kind of started. The skin was an access point,” says Ojih Odutola in a statement to the Whitney. “Whenever I create the skin, it’s sort of like a world, this idea of the multifaceted self, the layered self, and how we are so many selves in so many different ways.”


Culled from ELLE.


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