Osi Audu

Nigerian-American, b. 1959

Osi Audu is an artist and curator whose practice over the last three decades has elevated abstract art through his geometric "self-portrait" paintings and drawings that interrogate the duality of form/void and the tangible/intangible as they relate to the self and self-consciousness. Osi Audu received fine arts degrees from the University of Ife in Nigeria and the University of Georgia in the United States.

Osi Audu - Drawings and Paintings

Works

Works will be updated shortly before the opening of Osi Audu's solo show "Wetin Be Dis" at Sakhile&Me.


Biography

Osi Audu was born in Nigeria in 1959 and studied at the University of Ife (Nigeria), where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with first class honors in 1980. He went on to study at the University of Georgia in Athens (USA) and earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Drawing in 1984. In 1994, he earned a postgraduate certificate in education from the University of Kent in Canterbury (UK).

Osi Audu maintains a visual language of geometric shapes and a palette of monochromatic blacks, whites, greys, and primary colors to explore the tangible and intangible aspects of the self and self-consciousness. His techniques draw from ancient Yoruba philosophies and modern Western approaches, such as the idea that objects can contain, channel, and transform natural forces. Following the Yoruba concept of Ori Inuie ("the inner head"), Audu's works - many of them displayed as a series of "self-portraits" - draw our attention to the artist's focus on the head as a signifier of consciousness and as an object of self and self-knowing.

Audu's work has shown in solo and group exhibitions worldwide, including Germany, Nigeria, Japan, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He has shown at prestigious institutions such as Iwalewa-Haus (1995), the British Museum (2003), the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African Art (2006), and the Museo Di Palazzo Grimani during the Venice Biennale (2015). In 2018, he was the recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant. In addition to his longstanding artistic practice, Audu also works as a curator, most recently organizing the traveling group exhibition "Abstract Minded: Works by Six Contemporary African Artists" that showed at the N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Detroit, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in New York, and the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh.

His work is in numerous private and public collections including the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African Art, the British Museum, the Horniman Museum, the Newark Museum, the Hood Museum, Iwalewa-Haus, and Nigeria's National Gallery. Osi Audu currently resides in New York.

Exhibitions

Solo Exhibitions

2019

2018

2016

2014

2011

2006

2003

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1989

1987

Group Exhibitions

2019

2018

2017

2015

2014

2010

2009

2006

2005

2003

2002

1999

1998

1996

1997

1995

1994

1992

1991

1990

1985

1984


Publications