Self-Portrait V, 2015, pastel and graphite on Fabriano Artistico paper mounted on canvas, 56.5 x 76.5 inches/143.5 x 194.3 cm

Self-Portrait II, 2015, pastel and graphite on Fabriano Artistico paper mounted on canvas, 56.5 x 76.5 inches/143.5 x 194.3 cm

The work of Nigerian-born artist Osi Audu focuses on the dualism of the tangible and intangible. His mediums are acrylic, graphite, pastel and wool on canvas or paper. Audu examines the scientific, philosophical and cultural concepts surrounding the relationship between mind and body. Audu draws from his upbringing in Nigeria and his work often alludes to the Yoruba people’s concept that consciousness (referred to as “the head”) has both a physical dimension (“the outer head”) and a spiritual dimension (“the inner head”). Living in Britain and the United States alerted him to the correspondence of these ideas with Western psychological and philosophical inquiries. Now a resident of New York, his experiences have led him to re-evaluate and communicate elements of his cultural background to diverse audiences. .


Osi 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 extensively, including at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C.; the National Gallery of Modern Art and Franco-German Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria; Skoto Gallery and Bonhams, New York; Charlotte Street Gallery, the Africa Centre, the Science Museum and the British Museum, London; the Setagaya Art Museum and the Tobu Museum of Art, Tokyo. His work was also in the first Gwangju Biennale in 1995.


Osi Audu’s works are in public and private collections around the world, including the Newark Museum, New Jersey; the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art; the Horniman Museum, 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 Addax and Oryx Group, Geneva.


Born in Abraka, Nigeria, 1956 | Lives and works in New York

Text and images © Tagore Foundation International unless otherwise noted