lives and works
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Chelsea School of Art, Chelsea, UK, 1991
Royal College of Art, London, UK, 1993
about the artist
Chris Ofili bares on his canvases interior ruminations on the sometimes overlapping, sometimes antagonistic elements of Black history, sexuality, traditional African culture, rap music, and religion. The lowbrow is conflated with the rarefied in colorful, energetic pictures that are often garnished with a generous serving of elephant dung. Approaching his work, one will discover a sensorial encounter of textures, layers, and dimensions—a psychedelic concoction of pointillist dots, pasted clippings, glitter, pins, and other unexpected materials. Anchoring the production of these three-dimensional works is a faithful drawing practice that offers an intimate encounter with the nascence of the artist’s creative processes and artistic inquests. Born in Manchester, UK, and currently living and working in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Ofili was the recipient of the 1998 Turner Prize presented by the Tate Gallery in London, UK, and exhibited in the British Pavilion in the 2003 Venice Biennale. Between 2000 and 2005, he was a council member for the Tate Gallery, and in 2004 was appointed trustee of the Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art in London. He has held solo exhibitions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, and Germany. His work has been included in group shows held at sites such as the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, USA; the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, USA; the Museum of Modern Art in New York, USA; the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan; the Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, Austria; the Castello di Rivoli at the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Turin, Italy; and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain.