This catalogue features texts by artists, curators, and writers surveying the complex formal and thematic relationships within his innovative paintings, drawings, and sculptures. It is published on the exhibition Chris Ofili: Night and Day
at the New Museum—the first survey of the artist’s work in an American Museum.
Ofili’s early paintings from the ‘90s were created using his signature layering of materials, including paint, resin, glitter, and elephant dung, and a diverse combination of iconography. After moving to Trinidad, Ofili’s blue paintings from this period extend beyond these subjects to offer a contemplative approach to history, identity, and ways of seeing. His most recent works have been animated by exotic characters, outlandish landscapes, and folkloric myths that resonate with references to the paintings of Henri Matisse and Paul Gauguin. Ofili’s series “Metamorphose” consists of brighly colored canvases inspired by the poem of the same name by Ovid and illusrate the ancient Roman author’s stories of gods and humans.
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 funamental questions of representation. Through a series of unexpected connections between his most important bodies of work, this catalogue and exhibition
reflect the vast breadth of his practice.
New Museum and Skira Rizzoli; 2014; Hardcover; 8.75" x 11.75"; 224 pp; illustrated throughout; ISBN 9780847844562