Since the mid-1990s, Chris Ofili has become well known for his vibrant, technically complex, and meticulously executed paintings and works on paper. While his early works were predominantly abstract, involving intricate patterns and colors, he has since developed a signature figurative style that bridges the gap between the sacred and the profane, and by extension, between high art and popular culture. His works center around the relationship between form and content: often using several layers of paint, resin, glitter, collage elements, and occasionally, elephant dung, Ofili enlists sexual, cultural, historical, and religious references to create uniquely aesthetic and physical works that expose the darker undercurrents of society, while also celebrating contemporary black culture. Drawing on a wide range of sources—from “blaxploitation” movies, the Bible, jazz and hip hop music, comic books, Zimbabwean cave paintings, and the works of artist and poet William Blake—Ofili’s subject matter frequently employs racial stereotypes in order to challenge and reinterpret them.

Born in 1968 in Manchester, Ofili received his B.F.A. from the Chelsea School of Art in 1991 and his M.F.A. from the Royal College of Art in 1993. In 2005, the artist joined David Zwirner, where he has had two solo exhibitions at the gallery in New York.

Encompassing paintings, drawings, and sculptures from the past two decades Chris Ofili: Night and Day is the first major museum solo exhibition of the artist’s work in the United States. The show was organized by the New Museum in New York, where it was first presented in 2014, and will travel to the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado in 2015.

Work by Ofili has been the subject of solo exhibitions worldwide, including recent shows at The Arts Club of Chicago (2010); Tate Britain, London (2010 and 2005); kestnergesellschaft, Hanover (2006); and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2005). He represented Britain in the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). He won the prestigious Turner Prize in 1998, the first time in a decade a painter had won.

His works are represented in prominent collections internationally, including the British Museum, London; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Gallery, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He lives and works in Trinidad.

Chris Ofili
Chris Ofili
Manchester, 1968
UK

Upcoming Exhibitions

Chris Ofili

Institute of Contemporary Art Miami – ICA
01/12/2017 — 31/10/2019

Past Exhibitions

Chris Ofili: Poolside Magic

Victoria Miro Venice
10/05/2017 — 01/07/2017

Protest

Victoria Miro
23/09/2016 — 05/11/2016

Imprint 93

Whitechapel Gallery
19/03/2016 — 25/09/2016

Chris Ofili: Night and Day

New Museum
29/10/2014 — 25/11/2014

Rack ‘em up: British Contemporary Editions

Shapero Modern
04/03/2015 — 27/03/2015

Solo Shows

2014

Night and Day, New Museum, New York

2012

Chris Ofili: to take and to give, Victoria Miro, London

2010

Afrotranslinear, The Arts Club of Chicago

Chris Ofili, Tate Britain, London

2009

Afro Margin, David Zwirner, New York

2007

Devil’s Pie, David Zwirner, New York

2006

The Blue Rider Extended Remix, kestnergesellschaft, Hannover

2005

Afro Muses, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York

Chris Ofili: The Blue Rider, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin

The Upper Room, Tate Britain, London

2003

Within Reach, British Pavilion, 50th Venice Biennale, Venice

2002

Freedom One Day, Victoria Miro, London

2001

Chris Ofili Watercolours, Gallery Side 2, Tokyo

2000

Chris Ofili Drawings, Victoria Miro, London

1999

Afrobiotics, Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York

Watercolours, Le Case d’Arte, Milan

1998

Chris Ofili, Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton, England

Chris Ofili, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, England

1997

Pimpin ain’t easy but it sure is fun, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin

1996

Afrodizzia, Victoria Miro, London

1995

Chris Ofili, Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York

1991

Paintings and Drawings, Kepler Gallery, London

Group Shows

2015

Encounters and Collisions, Nottingham Contemporary, England

2014

An Appetite for painting: Contemporary painting 2000-2014, The National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design, Oslo, Norway

Bruegel to Freud: Master Prints from The Courtauld Gallery, The Courtauld Gallery, London

Gorgeous, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

How Soon Was Now: A Brief History of CFA, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin

Look at Me: Portraiture from Manet to the Present, Leila Heller Gallery, New York

The Nakeds, Drawing Room, London

SHE: Picturing women at the turn of the 21st century, David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

Somos Libres II: Works from the Mario Testino Collection, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin

2013

Accrochage, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin

Cinematic Visions: Painting at the Edge of Reality, Victoria Miro, London

2012

Contemporary Painting, 1960 to the Present: Selections from the SFMOMA Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

La Triennale 2012, Palais de Tokyo, Paris

The Mechanical Hand – 25 Year of Printmaking at Paupers Press, Kings Place Gallery, London

Metamorphosis: Titian 2012, National Gallery and Royal Opera House, London

Pencil and Paper, Poppy Sebire, London

2011

Art2 , The Flag Art Foundation, New York

Beyond the Human Clay, James Hyman Fine Art, London

The Life of the Mind: Love, Sorrow and Obsession, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, England

Litos Grafera, KunstCentret Silkeborg Bad, Silkeborg

The Luminous Interval: The D.Daskalopoulos Collection, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Making a Scene, Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton, England

O/O, David Krut Projects, Cape Town

TIME WARP: reoccurring themes in British Post-War Art, SternArts Ltd, London

2010

21st Century: Art in the First Decade, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia

Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, England

At Home / Not At Home: Works from the Collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-On-Hudson, New York

Hareng Saur: Ensor and Contemporary Art, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), Ghent

In the Company of Alice, Victoria Miro, London

Thrice Upon A Time: 66 Artists from the Collection, Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall

2009

30 Seconds off an Inch, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York

Being British, The Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich, London

Between Art and Life: The Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

3 Brandnew: Acquisitions 2007-2008, Essl Museum, Vienna

Collected: Propositions on the Permanent Collections, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York

A Delicate Touch: Watercolors from the Permanent Collection, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York

Passports: Great Early Buys from the British Council Collection, Whitechapel Gallery, London

2008

… And Then Again, Printed Series 1500 – 2007, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

Collecting Collections: Highlights from the Permanent Collection of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Collection in Context: Four Decades, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York

The Gallery, David Zwirner, New York

History in the Making: A Retrospective of the Turner Prize, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo

The Other Mainstream II: Selections from the Collection of Mikki and Stanley Weithorn, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona

Out of Shape: Stylistic Distortions of the Human Form in Art from the Logan Collection, The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York

Pleinairism, i8 Gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland

Turner Prize Artists from Affordable to Unaffordable, Caroline Wiseman Modern & Contemporary, London

2007

Draw, Conversations Around the Legacy of Drawing, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Middlesbrough, England

Dream and Trauma: Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna   The Collector’s Art: The Twentieth and Twenty-first Century in Private and Corporate Collections in Düsseldorf, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf

Fractured Figure: Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection, The Deste Foundation Centre for Contemporary Art, Athens

Hunky Dory, Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow

Leerräume des Erzählens, Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany

Multiplex: Directions in Art, 1970 to Now, The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Star Power: Museum as Body Electric, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Colorado

True Romance: Allegories of Love from the Renaissance to the Present, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna

Turner Prize: A Retrospective, Tate Britain, London

2006

The Compulsive Line: Etching 1900 to Now, The Museum of Modern Art, New York

How to Improve the World: 60 Years of British Art, Hayward Gallery, London

Infinite Painting: Contemporary Painting and Global Realism, Villa Manin Centro d’Arte Contemporanea, Codroipo, Italy

Living History, Tate Modern, London

Painting Codes, Galleria Comunale d’Arte Contemporanea Monfalcone, Monfalcone, Italy

Prints Now: Directions and Definitions, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Surprise Surprise, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

Tokyo Blossoms. Deutsche Bank Collection Meets Zaha Hadid, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

Twice Drawn: Modern and Contemporary Drawings in Context, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York

2005

After Cézanne, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Artists & Prints: Part 3, The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Baroque and Neobaroque, Domus Artium 2002, Salamanca, Spain

4 Closing the Door? Immigration to Britain 1905-2005, The Jewish Museum, London

Contemporary Erotic Drawing, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut

Desenhos [Drawings]:A-Z, Porta 33, Ilha da Madeira, Portugal

Drawing from the Modern 3: 1975-2005, The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Early Work, David Zwirner, New York

Getting Emotional, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

Linkages and Themes in the African Diaspora: Selection from the Eileen Harris Norton and Peter Norton Contemporary Art Collections, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco

Revelations: Reflecting British Art in the Arts Council Collection, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Tête à Tête, Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York

Translation, Palais de Tokyo, Paris

2004

Curry Expo, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin

Fabulism, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska

Faces in the Crowd: Picturing Modern Life from Manet to Today, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London

Huts, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin

Monument to Now: The Dakis Joannou Collection, The Deste Foundation Centre for Contemporary Art, Athens

Seeds & Roots: Selections from the Permanent Collection, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York

2003

The Dead Bird Show, Whitechapel Project Space, London

Happiness: A Survival Guide for Art and Life, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo

Paradise, National Gallery, London

Supernova: Art of the 1990s from the Logan Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

2002

Cavepainting: Peter Doig, Chris Ofili, and Laura Owens, Santa Monica Museum of Art, California

Drawing Now: Eight Propositions, The Museum of Modern Art Queens, Long Island City, New York

Life is Beautiful, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, England

2001

Form Follows Fiction, Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin

The Mystery of Painting, Sammlung Goetz, Munich

One Planet Under a Groove: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, New York

Painting at the Edge of the World, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Public Offerings, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Works on Paper, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin

Works on Paper: from Acconci to Zittel, Victoria Miro, London

2000

12th Biennale of Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Ant Noises I, The Saatchi Gallery, London

Drawings 2000, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York

Nurture & Desire, South Bank Centre, London

Of the Moment: Contemporary Art from the Permanent Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Raw, Victoria Miro, London

1999

6th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul

53rd Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

History of the Turner Prize, ArtSway, Hampshire, England

Trouble Spot.Painting, Nieuw Internationaal Cultureel Centrum and Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Antwerp

1998

A to Z, curated by Matthew Higgs, The Approach, London

The Jerwood Foundation Painting Prize Exhibition, Jerwood Gallery, London

Heads will Roll, Victoria Miro, London

The Turner Prize, Tate Gallery, London

1997–2000

Dimensions Variable, organized by the British Council, London and Helsinki City Art Museum

1997

20th John Moores Liverpool Exhibition of Contemporary Painting, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, England

Belladonna, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London Date with an Artist, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, England

Minor Sensation, Victoria Miro, London

Package Holiday, New British Art in the Ophiuchus Collection, The Hydra Workshop, Hydra, Greece

Pictura Britannica, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Popoccultural, curated by Cabinet Gallery, Southampton City Gallery, Southampton, England

Pure Fantasy: Inventive Painting of the 90s, Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno, Wales Sensation: Young British Artists from The Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London

1996

British Art Show 4, Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland

Maps Elsewhere, Institute of International Visual Arts, London

Mothership Connection, Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam

NowHere, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humblebæk, Denmark

Wingate Young Artists Award, Art ’96, Business Design Centre, Islington, England

Young British Artists, curated by Glenn Scott Wright, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Paddington, Australia

1995

19th John Moores Liverpool Exhibition, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, England

About Vision: New British Painting in the 1990s, Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, England

A Bonnie Situation, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin

Brilliant! New Art From London, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Cocaine Orgasm, Bank Space, London

Contained, curated by Godfrey Worsdale, Cultural Instructions, London

Im/Pure, curated by Glenn Scott Wright, Osterwalder’s Art Office, Hamburg

LA Invitational, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles

Prints, Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York

Selections Spring ’95, The Drawing Center, New York

1994

Miniatures, The Agency, London

Painting Show, Victoria Miro, London

Take Five, Anthony Wilkinson Fine Art, London

1993

Borderless Print, curated by Maud Sulter, Rochdale Art Gallery, London

BT New Contemporaries, Cornerhouse Gallery, Manchester, England

Lift, Atlantis Basement, London

Riverside Open, Riverside Gallery, London

Shit Sale, Strasse des 17 Juni, Berlin

To Boldly Go, curated by Stuart Morgan, Cubitt Street Gallery, London

Tokyo Print Biennale, Manchida City Museum, Tokyo

1992

Pachipamwe International Artists’ Workshop Exhibition, Bulawayo Art Gallery, Harare, Zimbabwe

1991

Blauer Montag, curated by Killian Dellers, Raum für Kunst, Basel

BP Portrait Award Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London

Whitworth Young Contemporaries, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, England

1990

BP Portrait Award Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London

Whitworth Young Contemporaries, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, England

1989

Whitworth Young Contemporaries, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, England

Contacts & Details

City of birth: Manchester Country of birth: UK Date of birth: 1968 Lives in: Trinidad