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Text by Andrew Travers | Photos by Jeremy Wallace
Gallery 1 of the Chris Ofili exhibit at Aspen Art Museum features the Turner Prize-winning artist's most recent paintings.
Jeremy Wallace/The Aspen Times |

If You Go …

What: ‘Chris Ofili: Night and Day’

Where: Aspen Art Museum

When: Through Nov. 1

How much: Free

More info:

Filling five galleries on three floors of the Aspen Art Museum, Turner Prize-winning painter Chris Ofili’s “Night and Day” is a monumental exhibition for the local museum.

The show was organized by and previously shown at the New Museum in New York. But the Aspen show includes four new, previously unseen paintings. Those are included in the museum’s largest gallery, on its second floor, the walls of which Ofili has painted with a lush forest scene. The massive paintings in that gallery date from the past four years, beginning with works responding to Titian’s depictions of Ovid’s poem “Metamorphoses.”

“It seems to me there are at least two figures in each painting,” Aspen Art Museum Director Heidi Zuckerman noted on a walkthrough last week. “And they’re trying to connect in these different ways.”

Two ground-floor galleries host Ofili’s best-known works from the 1990s, combining paint, resin, glitter and elephant dung (among the works is his infamous “The Holy Virgin Mary”); a sculpture using a dung ball, his hair and human teeth to form a head; graphite drawings; and a series of tropical paintings using the red, black and green of the Pan-African Flag.

A basement gallery has been transformed into a contemplative, low-lit space, exhibiting his overpowering “The Blue Rider” series from the 2000s. A small basement gallery hosts his “Afromuses” series of watercolors.

“Chris Ofili: Night and Day” will be on view at the Aspen Art Museum through Nov. 1.

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