Last month the Nigerian-American artist Odili Donald Odita joined an elite list of artists--which includes Richard Serra, Sol Lewitt, and Scott Burton--commissioned by Princeton University to create public art on campus. Odita's work, Up and Away, a vast mural spanning two floors and seven walls, in the newly built Butler College, is impressive, visually stunning. The effervescent color and dramatic geometry of the mural provides a matching counterpoint to the quiet grandeur of the brick structure characterized by rhythmic, undulating exterior wall. Each time I encounter this mural as I enter this building, where thankfully my fall seminar class meets once a week, the sensation is close to what might happen if you let loose a group twirling Yoruba Gelede masks (and their musical accompaniment) inside auditorium of a senate building!
The artist will be speaking about the Up and Away at the Princeton University Art Museum on October 9.
Here are some of the before..
Odita (right) with Assistant
Assistants working on the drawing
Vanishing the Mural
Views of the final wall installation:
Odita talks about Up and Away October 10, 2009:
Odita with James Steward, Director, Princeton University Art Museum at the artist lecture, October 10, 2009