A Transgenerational and Intercultural Look at Abstract Painting

Installation view of Color/Code at Morgan Presents gallery (all photos by the author)

A world steeped in abundant color and enticing designs, Color/Code at Morgan Presents embraces the mystery and expressive possibility of abstraction. Staging a visual dialogue between two artists of different generations — Sam Jablon and Odili Donald Odita — the exhibition is an invitation to ponder the chemistry between varied approaches to abstract painting. Largescale works are dispersed evenly throughout the white cube gallery with two on each side wall and one on a floating wall furthest from the entrance. From across the gallery, the painting facing the entrance is legible: “BAD BAD BAD” in yellow paint against a cloudy, midnight-blue-hued background. Evocation of such pessimism — BAD BAD BAD — is at first discombobulating in an exhibition replete with bold, happy colors. When exploring the other paintings, Color/Code becomes a riddle: There are no wall texts, but the QR-code-enabled press release includes a checklist. Deducing the artist of each painting is possible through recognizing each artist’s style or following the checklist like a scavenger hunt: the “BAD” textual paintings are by Jablon and the rainbow geometric designs are by Odita.

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@peepso_user_31(Denise Durak)
I find the concept of the dialog between generations or any other/or really fascinating. I don't care for the BAD DAYS but I really like Odita's work. I can't make any generalization or real commentary based on two artists that I know little about, although I have thoughts about what each of these may be aware of or perhaps what influenced them .. but it's just a guess. So much of the new art work I see is to me rambling and messy, although the backstory seems to faintly hint of hope or a wish for happiness or something that lifts them up out of the lack of structure perhaps .. compared to Odita's firm grip or attempt to stay grounded (is this a new painting for Odita or an older one) I ask myself.. because that would make a difference to me in how I perceive the "being-in-the-world- ness" of his work.
1 year ago