For its inaugural exhibition, Morgan Presents unveils Color/Code, a cross-generational pairing of artists Sam Jablon and Odili Donald Odita that considers color and its uses in generating and communicating content in painting.
Renowned for his exploration of color in large-scale, geometric compositions, Odita has exhibited extensively at institutions including The Studio Museum in Harlem, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, and the 52nd Venice Biennale. Odita leverages color as an instrument in his continuing investigation of our relationship to space, empathy, and broader transcontinental cultural dialogues.
Jablon studied poetry at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, which was established by Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, and John Cage at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, before obtaining his MFA from Brooklyn College, where he studied under creative luminaries such as Vito Acconci. Jablon’s practice explores the intersection of poetry and painting while simultaneously refusing to be categorized as solely one or the other. Through a focused use of vibrant color, Jablon leverages the tactile nature of his medium to address fundamental concerns of identity and constitution on both individual and societal levels.
Color/Code will engage these two artists in a dialogue around how each invokes formal topography in the landscape of abstraction and poetry, respectively. Both artists present the viewer with a search for meaning, a decoding, and reorientation while allowing for an aesthetic indulgence through the full impact of the works. Odita’s arranging of geometric zones of color can be understood as a direct intervention—one that is paralleled by Jablon’s arrangement of layered, disassociated words. In short, both practices invoke a call to action through color.
Sam Jablon (b. 1986, Binghamton, New York) lives and works in New York City. Jablon received his MFA from Brooklyn College/CUNY (2013) and his BA from Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado (2009). He has performed and exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, The Queens Museum, Hauser & Wirth, Storefront for Art and Architecture, The Kitchen, Artists Space, Blum & Poe, the Landing, and Ballon Rouge Collective. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Interview Magazine, Art in America, ARTnews, Hyperallergic, BOMB and the Brooklyn Rail.
Odili Donald Odita (b. 1966, Enugu, Nigeria) lives and works in Philadelphia. He has presented solo exhibitions at the Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina (2015–17); Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg (2014); Savannah College of Art and Design (2012–13); and the New Orleans Museum of Art (2011), among others. He has participated in group exhibitions at the Baltimore Museum of Art (2019); Prospect.4, New Orleans (2017–18); Newark Museum of Art, New Jersey (2015–16); Philadelphia Museum of Art (2015); Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (2011); and the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007), among others. The artist’s work is found in the permanent collections of the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.