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Video: A Walk through Chris Ofili at the New Museum

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Chris Ofili’s “Night and Day”, currently at the New Museum in New York City, represents the artist’s first survey show in America — and a forceful return to the city for Ofili, whose painting The Holy Virgin Mary raised the ire of Mayor Rudy Giuliani when it was shown in Brooklyn in 1999. (“It was a shitstorm,” critic Jerry Saltz recently remembered, “that ended in a witch hunt”). In this video, MICA professors Ian Bourland and Kerr Houston discuss the show, considering Ofili’s work from a variety of perspectives.

Chris Ofili at the New Museum from Bmoreart on Vimeo.

Co-Author Kerr Houston teaches art history and art criticism at MICA; he is also the author of An Introduction to Art Criticism (Pearson, 2013) and recent essays on Wafaa Bilal, Emily Jacir, and Candice Breitz.

Co-Author W. Ian Bourland is a historian and critic of the global contemporary, who has written on recent art for a range of international publications and institutions, from Parasol Unit and Jeu de Paume to Artforum and African Arts.  He has taught or lectured at the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Barnes Foundation, and the Smithsonian, and is an alum of the Whitney ISP in Critical Studies. He currently teaches at MICA.

Chris Ofili, Ovid-Desire, 2011–12. Oil, pastel, and charcoal on linen, 122 x 78 3/4 in (310 x 200 cm). © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist, David Zwirner, New York / London and Victoria Miro, London
Chris Ofili, Ovid-Desire, 2011–12. Oil, pastel, and charcoal on linen, 122 x 78 3/4 in (310 x 200 cm). © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist, David Zwirner, New York / London and Victoria Miro, London
Image via the New Museum
Image via the New Museum
Chris Ofili, “Untitled (Afromuse),” 1995–2005. Watercolor and pencil on paper, 9 3/5 x 6 1/5 in (24.3 x 15.7 cm). © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist, David Zwirner, New York / London and Victoria Miro, London
Chris Ofili, “Untitled (Afromuse),” 1995–2005. Watercolor and pencil on paper, 9 3/5 x 6 1/5 in (24.3 x 15.7 cm). © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist, David Zwirner, New York / London and Victoria Miro, London
Chris Ofili, The Adoration of Captain Shit and the Legend of the Black Stars (ThirdVersion), 1998. Oil, acrylic, polyester resin, paper collage, glitter, map pins, and elephant dung on linen, 96 x 72 in (243.8 x 182.8 cm). © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist, David Zwirner, New York / London and Victoria Miro, London
Chris Ofili, The Adoration of Captain Shit and the Legend of the Black Stars (ThirdVersion), 1998. Oil, acrylic, polyester resin, paper collage, glitter, map pins, and elephant dung on linen, 96 x 72 in (243.8 x 182.8 cm). © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist, David Zwirner, New York / London and Victoria Miro, London
Chris Ofili, Confession (Lady Chancellor), 2007. Oil on linen, 110 3/5 x 76 4/5 in (281 x 195.3 cm). © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist, David Zwirner, New York / London and Victoria Miro, London
Chris Ofili, Confession (Lady Chancellor), 2007. Oil on linen, 110 3/5 x 76 4/5 in (281 x 195.3 cm). © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist, David Zwirner, New York / London and Victoria Miro, London

Top Image: Chris Ofili, Triple Beam Dreamer, 2001–02. Acrylic, oil, leaves, glitter, polyester resin, map pins,and elephant dung on linen, 72 x 120 in (182.8 x 304.8 cm). © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist, David Zwirner, New York / London and Victoria Miro, London

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