New York

Chris Ofili

David Zwirner | 525 & 533 West 19th Street

Although Chris Ofili’s recent show, “Afro Margin,” was grandly installed in one of David Zwirner’s soaring galleries, it consisted simply of a modest suite of eight pencil drawings, made between 2004 and 2007. The materials, too, were pared down in comparison with his previous work—no superheated color or reflective resins, no glitter, no elephant dung. This did not preclude the visual syncopation for which Ofili is famous. Still, “Afro Margin” emphasized, or resynthesized, two motifs long of interest to the British artist: the hypertrophic Afro head and the cascade of scintillant dots. Skillful and suggestive in spite of their slightness, the drawings demonstrate what Ofili can do minus his main means. “Recession art,” some might murmur. Maybe, but more important, the series apparently serves to screen a transition in the artist’s work; according to the catalogue, this is the last time

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