Details
PAUL ONDITI (B. 1980)
Lawful Order
signed and dated 'WudG 19' (lower right)
oil, transfer and mixed media on digital polyester inkjet plate
55 1/8 x 42 3/4in. (140 x 108.5cm.)
Executed in 2019
Provenance
ARTLabAfrica, Nairobi.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

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Isabel Millar
Isabel Millar Specialist

Lot Essay

Paul Onditi creates richly layered dense painterly works, confronting contemporary global issues. His practice challenges our understanding of our cultural-political climate. Addressing themes of climate change, fragmented and hierarchical societies, and the degradation of the natural world, Onditi’s practice focuses on endemic issues faced by humanity using a broad range of pioneering techniques and materials.
Filmstrips, prints, transferred images, pared down layers of pigment, caustic acid, and thin layers of oil paint are patched together to visualise an imaginative world that unpicks at current divisions and tensions based on the same ideological, political and religious differences that factor into collective existence. Working on his preferred canvas of digital polyester inkjet plates, Lawful Order ironically portrays societal chaos and disarray through a complex composition using a variety of oils, caustic acids and prints. The work explores socio-political ideologies; an isolated anonymous figure in an urban scene navigates the treacherous landscape.
Born in Kenya in 1980, Paul Onditi moved to Germany in 2000, where he studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Offenbach am Main. In 2010 he returned to Nairobi, where he currently lives and works. He has participated in Ernst and Young Action in the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt. Selected exhibitions include African Metropolis: An Imaginary City, Rome (2018); Shifting Backgrounds, 50 Golborne, London (2018); Dak’Art Biennale, Senegal (2018); and VOLTA, New York (2017). Onditi represented Kenya at the Venice Biennale at their inaugural pavilion in 2017.

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