First solo exhibition to showcase Artist’s first 20 years body of work at New York’s New Museum
The New Museum began the first major solo museum exhibition in the United States of artist Chris Ofili’s work on the 29th of October in New York.
Occupying the Museum’s three main galleries, “Chris Ofili: Night and Day” will span the artist’s influential career, encompassing his paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Over the past two decades, Ofili has become identified with vibrant,
meticulously executed, elaborate artworks that meld figuration, abstraction, and decoration.
In his extremely diverse oeuvre, Ofili has taken imagery and inspiration from such disparate, history-spanning sources as the Bible, hip-hop music, Zimbabwean cave paintings, Blaxploitation films, and William Blake’s poems. As the title of the exhibition suggests, Ofili’s practice has undergone constant changes, moving from boldly expressive to deeply introspective across an experimental and prodigious body of work. The exhibition will feature over thirty of Ofili’s major paintings, a vast quantity of drawings, and a selection of sculptures from over the course of his twenty-year career.
Ofili’s hybrid juxtapositions of high and low, and of the sacred and the profane, simultaneously celebrate and call into question the power of images and their ability to address fundamental questions of representation. Through a series of unexpected connections between his most important bodies of work, Ofili’s exhibition at the New Museum will reflect the vast breadth of his practice.
“Chris Ofili: Night and Day” will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue featuring contributions from the exhibition’s curator, Massimiliano Gioni, as well as art historian Robert Storr, lawyer and journalist Matthew Ryder, National Gallery of London curator Minna Moore Ede, and fellow artists Glenn Ligon and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.
Chris Ofili was born in Manchester, England, in 1968, and currently lives and works in Port of Spain, Trinidad. He received his BFA from the Chelsea School of Art in 1991 and his MFA from the Royal College of Art in 1993. Solo exhibitions of his work have been presented internationally, including recent shows at the Arts Club of Chicago (2010); Tate Britain, London (2010 and 2005); kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (2006); and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2005). He represented Britain in the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 and won the Turner Prize in 1998. His works are held in the permanent collections of a number of museums, including the British Museum, London; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate, London; the
Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
The exhibition is curated by Massimiliano Gioni, Artistic Director, Gary Carrion-Murayari, Kraus Family Curator, and Margot Norton, Assistant Curator. The exhibition will be on view in the Second, Third, and Fourth Floor galleries from October 29, 2014 to January 25, 2015.