Shadow and Light (For Julian Francis Abele), 2015
ARTIST: Odili Donald Odita
Location: NASHER MUSEUM OF ART AT duke university
Odili Donald Odita explores pictorial space through color, line, and pattern. His abstract paintings combine unique designs with vibrant colors that mirror the cultural complexity of the world today and seek to trigger memory and personal reflection.
Shadow and Light (For Julian Francis Abele) is one of two wall paintings by Odita commissioned by the Nasher Museum of Art in celebration of its ten-year anniversary. This mural pays homage to African American architect Julian Francis Abele (pronounced “abel”) (1881 – 1950), the chief designer for most of Duke’s early buildings, including its iconic neo-Gothic chapel. Due to racial segregation, Abele never set foot on Duke’s campus and was not publicly acknowledged for his achievements here until 1986. Through Abele's legacy, Odita addresses the enduring consequences of prejudice and the power of information and status. His mural recognizes African American contributions to creativity, historically rendered invisible. Odita asks viewers to consider others' contributions that are neither seen nor heard, and challenges us to use our own influence to bring untold stories out of the shadows and into the light.
A second mural by Odita, commissioned by the Nasher, is located at the Downtown Durham YMCA.