Abe Odedina’s paintings speak through a highly legible allegorical vernacular. His work is bold and mythical whilst always accessible – their readability is paramount. Odedina describes himself as a folk artist and his practice is inspired by the rich figurative and oral traditions of African art, infused with a trace of magic realism. His practice seeks to revive and deconstruct quintessential classical themes spanning from ancient Greek to Yoruba mythologies to create a charged dialogue between epochs, cultures, and peoples.
Odedina had a successful architecture career before starting to paint on a trip to Brazil in 2007. Recent exhibitions include solos, Birds of Paradise, Copeland Gallery, London (2019) and True Love, The Department Store, London (2018) and the group exhibition the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London (2017). In 2013, he was shortlisted for the National Portrait Gallery BP Awards. Odedina, together with The Underground Museum, Los Angeles was awarded the 2017 Ellsworth Kelly Award from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts, New York. Odedina’s work is in a number of major international collections including the UK Government Art Collection and the Tiroche DeLeon Collection, Tel Aviv.