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Charcoal-Burnished Vessel

A work made of ceramic and pigment.

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  • A work made of ceramic and pigment.




Magdalene Anyango N. Odundo
(Kenyan, living in the United Kingdom, born 1950)

About this artwork

Kenyan-born ceramic artist Magdalene Odundo is one of the foremost contemporary artists from Africa working today. Born in Kenya in 1950 and currently living in the United Kingdom, Odundo creates works that rely on a unique combination of formal and surface treatments and are almost ethereal in their effect. Odundo attained the dark and slightly metallic color of this vessel through multiple firings rather than the application of glazes. The work’s tilted and ringed neck, raised spine, and round belly connect it to other vessels in Odundo’s oeuvre that explore the female body. The beauty, refinement, and technical mastery of Odundo’s art allow her work to transcend stereotypes and boundaries. While her vessels resonate with ceramic traditions from Africa and other parts of the world, they also stand on an equal footing with other works of contemporary art, particularly those that challenge commonly held notions about functionality (see also 1997.63).


Currently Off View


Arts of Africa


Magdalene Odundo


Charcoal-Burnished Vessel


Kenya (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Ceramic and pigment


incised Odundo and dated


30.5 × 22.9 cm (12 × 9 in.)

Credit Line

Director's Major Acquisition Endowment

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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