34 East 69th Street New York
May 1—July 19, 2019
David Zwirner is pleased to present Dangerous Liaisons, an exhibition of new works by Chris Ofili, on view at the gallery’s 34 East 69th Street location, in New York. The show marks the artist’s fourth solo presentation with the gallery.
The title of the exhibition references René Magritte’s eponymous painting of 1935, which Ofili explores in drawings that employ the compositional organization of the Surrealist’s work as a structure for his own rich and layered colorism. The interwoven patterns and forms in these works create dynamic visuals in which the delicately rendered surfaces optically pulse and vibrate.
Homer’s Odyssey serves as another central theme of the show, with several drawings and paintings devoted to the figures of Calypso and Odysseus. Inspired in part by the music of the island of Trinidad, where Ofili has lived since 2005, the artist has reimagined Calypso—traditionally represented as a deceptive femme fatale—as a striking mermaid, and he has visualized Odysseus as a beautiful, dark-skinned suitor. In the paintings, Ofili presents the characters with curving bodies, sumptuously spread out across the compositions and displayed in layered surfaces filled with arabesque vines and bubble-like forms.