Apr 27—Jul 3, 2005
Afro Muses presents 181 watercolors created over the last ten years by artist Chris Ofili. A part of his prodigious output of works on paper, this selection of watercolors has never been exhibited before. Organized by the artist and Thelma Golden, chief curator, this exhibition includes images of men and women with a few birds and flowers, arranged as individual works, couples and groups.
Some of Ofili’s watercolors have become the starting point for larger paintings; these are created as fully realized works. Ofili describes making these works as both pleasurable and challenging. Deriving from a meditative exercise, this presentation represents the evolution of his particular studio practice. Upon first viewing, the images can easily be perceived as portraits of individuals. These ancient visages are oddly reminiscent of someone, somewhere at some moment in time. However, they are not actual representations, but rather figurative expressions. Like the characters that populate Ofili’s larger paintings, these intimate figures derive from impressions and references from everyday life, memory and the history of art.
Chris Ofili: Afro Muses 1995–2005 is presented with the generous support of The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation 2004–2005 Exhibition Fund, Melva Bucksbaum and Raymond Learsy and The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation