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'Sadie' (Zadie Smith)

1 of 5 portraits of Zadie Smith

© Toyin Ojih Odutola. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

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'Sadie' (Zadie Smith)

by Toyin Ojih Odutola
pastel, charcoal, pencil and graphite on paper, 2018-2019
88 in. x 42 in. (2235 mm x 1066 mm) overall
Purchased with support from Zekiye Cingillioglu, 2020
Primary Collection
NPG 7105

On display in Room 30 on Floor 1 at the National Portrait Gallery

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

Ojih Odutola is, in Smith’s words, the ‘central light in a thrilling new generation of black artists.’ In her portrait of Smith she has included a range of subtle details. Shapes and shadows evoke palm trees which reference Smith’s Jamaican heritage and a large map of North West London is in the background. Ojih Odutola chose the title, “Sadie,” to signify the foundations of Smith’s life, as a woman from North West London with firm roots in Jamaica and England. She is drawn in a relaxed pose, donning her natural hair, to show an assured, talented woman on her own terms.

Read the interview with Zadie Smith and Toyin Ojih Odutola.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG 7145: 'Work in Progress' (based on same portrait)

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Edited by Rab MacGibbon and Tanya Bentley, Icons and Identities, 2021, p. 132
  • Rab MacGibbon, National Portrait Gallery: The Collection, p. 114

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