Nigerian-born, Huntsville-raised, U of Alabama grad Toyin Ojih Odutola first got the attention of Voguemagazine when the poet Claudia Rankine published as essay in Aperture magazine, "A New Grammar for Blackness'.
A year later, Toyin Ojih Odutola has mounted a solo show 'To Wander Determined' at the Whitney Museum in New York. Upon entering the show, visitors see a letter written by Odutola in the persona of the 'Deputy Private Secretary' for two aristocratic families in Lagos.
artNet writes: "For Ojih Odutola, their images form a corrective to a Eurocentric art history that thinks of both court portraiture and genre paintings as belonging to a primarily white world, with black characters as footnotes—cast as servants, slaves, or left out completely.."
The topic of black identity, colonialism, and cultural appropriation have lived front and center in our national -- and international -- dialogue in 2017.