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Reduced Black Piece: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
This striking vessel is exemplary of Odundo's work: she uses ancient handbuilding and coiling techniques, which she learned from Nigerian, Kenyan, and New Mexican women in their native countries, to create remarkably modern forms. Odundo achieves such perfect symmetry without the use of mechanical aids; all her pieces are formed by hand. The smooth surface quality of Odundo's works is not the result of glazing, but of burnishing, a process in which slip (a mixture of clay and water) is applied and then buffed away. This particular piece was fired using a reduction technique, resulting in subtle variations in the black surface.Odundo's work is heavily influenced by her own multicultural identity and her international ceramic studies. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, she spent her formative years in Kenya and India, moving to England to study art in West Surrey (where she teaches today) and in London. Odundo began working in ceramics after becoming bored with her study of graphic arts during art school. With Reduced Black Piece, Odundo drew on her knowledge of African utilitarian vessels, though its imposing, trumpet-shaped neck and black surface set it aesthetically apart from functional pots. In many of her vessels, Odundo sees female silhouettes; in this case, the swelling form recalls a pregnant woman.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: July 9, 2010