University Art Museum
Well/Being: An Exhibition on Healing and Repair
August 4 - December 11, 2021
Artists, Public Programs, About

Odessa Straub

A lounge chair made from lumber and velvet framed by hanging curtains. At the bottom of the seat sits a glass vase with plants. A fabric-covered painting is in the background with elements falling to the floor.
Odessa Straub, Speaking kind of repetitively, 2021, wood, felt, silk velvet, glass vase, cotton, rope, live plants, 46 x 36 x 24 inches, courtesy of the artist and SEPTEMBER, Hudson, New York [image description: A lounge chair made from lumber and velvet framed by hanging curtains. At the bottom of the seat sits a glass vase with plants. A fabric-covered painting is in the background with elements falling to the floor.]

Both vulnerable and life-affirming, Odessa Straub’s ongoing practice includes aquariums and vases that are home to living plants. This installation, tethered between two floors by a siphon transporting water, was commissioned for Well/Being and grew out of the artist’s personal response to her care work for a woman living with dementia. The artist replenishes the water throughout the duration of the exhibition, offering metaphoric and literal performances of care. This circulation of water parallels the circulation of affective energy between people and all beings as they depend upon one another. The life forms in the piece are also dependent on the natural light received through the Museum’s windows. This continuum between the artwork and a larger ecosystem in and outside the Museum is reinforced by cotton scrims hung from the ceiling, which draw our attention to our place within these contiguous spaces as we walk through the piece.

Odessa Straub

Born in 1989 in Brooklyn, New York. Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Selected solo exhibitions include There's My Chair I Put it There at SEPTEMBER in Hudson, New York (2019); Odessa Straub with Jeffrey Stark at NADA Miami in Miami, Florida (2019); Puss Palace Panic Room at COOPER COLE ANNEX in Toronto, Canada (2019); Peanuts at Eighteen Gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark (2019); Migrating Contents at Art Los Angeles Contemporary in Los Angeles, California (2018); Tennis Elbow at The Journal Gallery in Brooklyn, New York (2017); Real Puss Technologies at SEPTEMBER in Hudson, New York (2017); Odessa Straub at NADA New York in New York, New York (2017); Tears in Housebreaking Letting the Gold at ACAPELLA in Napoli, Italy (2016); Necrotizing Woos at Jeffrey Stark in New York, New York (2016); and Seasonings on Precipice Perception at Nico Mier Gallery in Los Angeles, California (2015).

Selected group exhibitions include American Women at La Patinoire Royale-Galerie Valérie Bach in Brussels, Belgium (2020); Jaywalkers at Loyal Gallery in Stockholm, Switzerland (2019); Viewing Room: Agathe Snow and Odessa Straub at Marlborough Contemporary in New York, New York (2017); Perfect Present: Three Generations of Painting at Jeffrey Stark in New York, New York (2015).

Straub received a B.F.A. from The Cooper Union in New York, New York in 2013.