Born in 1985 in Ifè, Nigeria. Lives and works in New York City, USA.
In elaborately detailed drawings, Toyin Ojih Odutola filters experiences and imaginative impulses into expansive spaces of narrative storytelling. Working in ballpoint pen, charcoal, pastels, and pencils, Ojih Odutola unfolds semi-fictional worlds across multiple series with subjects and storylines that recur episodically. Ostensibly figurative portraits, the surfaces of Ojih Odutola’s drawings resemble sculptural landscapes through her layered, textural application of materials. However, the scenes Ojih Odutola renders are in no way static; her subjects appear to be caught between moments of action with consequential implications, and she creates sensations of light that dance across ornate interiors, fabrics, and facial contours. Through the mythologization of family lineages and histories of migration, Ojih Odutola’s sagas explore identity, class, and social mobility. (Recipient of the Prix Jean-François Prat awarded by the Bredin Prat Foundation for Contemporary Art, Paris in 2020)