The Indivisible and the Invincible: a Talk by Odili Donald Odita

The New Orleans Museum of Art hosts Odili Donald Odita at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26, at 1 Collins Diboll Circle.

Odili Donald Odita is an African American abstract painter who lives and works in Philadelphia. Odita’s work explores color both in the figurative historical context and in the sociopolitical sense. His vibrant large-scale abstractions have been described as “showstoppers” and are considered to raise questions about race and society. Most of Odita’s work is inspired by the vibrant textiles of his home country, Nigeria mixed with patterns from Western modernity. His Forever mural, commissioned in 2011, fills an entire wall in NOMA’s elevator lobby on the first floor. For Prospect.4, he has created brightly multicolored flags installed at places of “cultural, racial and historical importance” around the city, and more of his work is on view aboard the Algiers ferry.

Odita is primarily a painter, but also works in photo-based pieces and installation art. He has experimented with a variety of media, but his works since the 1990s are often large-scale paintings on canvas and Plexiglass. He sometimes paints directly on walls to alter the perception of space. Often involving “complex interlocking geometries and contrasting hues,” his works are seen as raising significant questions about race and society.