Toyin Ojih Odutola Catalogue
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Toyin Ojih Odutola Catalogue


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This illustrated publication accompanies the exhibition Toyin Ojih Odutola: A Countervailing Theory in the Barbican's Curve gallery.

The exhibition was due to take place at the Barbican from 26 March to 26 July 2020. The new exhibition dates are 11 August 2020 to 24 January 2021 - please book tickets here.

The Barbican presents the first-ever UK commission by Nigerian-American artist Toyin Ojih Odutola, a site-specific installation for The Curve. An epic cycle of drawings unfurls across the 90-metre long gallery, exploring an imagined ancient myth conceived by the artist.  An immersive soundscape by renowned conceptual sound artist Peter Adjaye fills the gallery in response to Ojih Odutola’s work.

Executed in pastel, charcoal and chalk, the installation features a series of 40 new drawings, each work acting as an individual episode within an overarching narrative. Ojih Odutola encourages the viewer to piece together the fragments of the stories she presents. For A Countervailing Theory, the artist has woven a tale of a fictional ancient civilisation in central Nigeria dominated by female rulers and served by male labourers. 

Offering an insight into this remarkable body of work, the accompanying publication features a new text by writer Zadie Smith and an interview with the artist by exhibition curator Lotte Johnson.

56 pages
Dimensions: 24 x 17 cm