The work of Nigerian-American artist Osi Audu focuses on the dualism of form and void, the tangible and intangible. Using a variety of mediums, including acrylic, graphite, pastel and wool on canvas or paper, he examines scientific, philosophical and cultural concepts surrounding the relationship between mind and body. His compositions are often inspired by the abstract geometric possibilities he sees in African art and cultural objects and the concept of the head as a center of waking and dreaming consciousness.
“The construction of a sense of self is a very complex process,” Audu says. “Perhaps even more so as the world gets less exotic and is being experienced more as a sphere of commonalities, where boundaries between race, nationality, gender and sexuality are increasingly blurred.”
Audu received his undergraduate degree in fine arts from the University of Ife, Ife-Ife, Nigeria, and his master’s degree at the University of Georgia in the United States. He has exhibited his work at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C.; National Gallery of Modern Art and Franco-German Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria; Skoto Gallery and Bonhams, New York; the Africa Centre, the Science Museum and the British Museum, London; and the Tobu Museum of Art, Tokyo, among others. His work was in the first Gwangju Biennale in 1995 and in 2015, two of his paintings were included in Frontiers Reimagined, a Collateral Event of the 56th Venice Biennale. Currently, Adau’s work is on view in an ongoing exhibition at the Newark Museum of Art and the United States Ambassador’s Residence in Abuja, Nigeria, as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies Program.
Audu is represented in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C.; Newark Museum of Art, New Jersey; Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz, New York; Hood Museum, Dartmouth, New Hampshire; Mott-Warsh Collection, Flint, Michigan; Horniman Museum & Gardens, the Wellcome Trust, the British Museum and the Nigeria High Commission, London; the Embassy of Switzerland in Nigeria, Lagos; the National Gallery of Art, Lagos; SchmidtBank, Bayreuth, Germany; and the Microsoft Art Collection.
Born in Abraka, Nigeria, 1956 | Lives and works in New York