Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nnenna Okore at Princeton's Fields Center

Doyin Teriba (Princeton Grad Std), Nnena Okore and Tayo Ogunbiyi at the opening
Photo: Chika Okeke-Agulu

Last Saturday, the Nigerian US-based artist Nnenna Okore had a mini exhibition at the brand-new Carl A. Fields Center, Princeton University. Organized by Tayo Ogunbiyi, a Princeton alumna and curatorial consultant for the Fields Center, the exhibition was planned to coincide with the closing events of the Black Princeton Alumni annual conference. It was wonderful to see Nnenna and her work here in Princeton. Come to think of it, it is also a rare treat to have the work of two African artists (counting of course Odili Odita's permanent mural) on campus this semester. Or should I say that these are but the beginning of a new era in Princetonland.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Book Launch_Contemporary African Art Since 1980

On Tuesday October 27, Contemporary African Art Since 1980, the book I wrote with my friend and long-time collaborator Okwui Enwezor will be presented at the New York Public Library. Click here for details about the book and NYPL event. The book is available on for advance purchase. One thing to note: Although the book is advertised as 320-pages long, it is actually 368 pages with 470 color images. I am sure I am allowed at least to say that it is a gorgeous book! If you don't agree with me (when you get to see a copy), send me a stinker!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Odili Donald Odita's Princeton University Mural

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