The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide:
They hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way.
—John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book XII
David Zwirner is pleased to present Paradise Lost, an exhibition of new work by Chris Ofili. This presentation touches on themes of lost innocence, alienation, and desire. On view at 533 West 19th Street in New York, this will be Ofili’s third solo exhibition at the gallery.
Paradise Lost both returns to and expands upon ideas Ofili presented earlier this year in his solo exhibition Weaving Magic at the National Gallery, London, where he debuted his tapestry The Caged Bird’s Song. Commissioned by the British Clothworkers' Company, the tapestry was made in collaboration with the internationally renowned Dovecot Tapestry Studio in Edinburgh. In Paradise Lost, Ofili poses "the question of the sweetness of the song—is the sweeter song the song of the uncaged bird, or the song of the caged bird? And what that really is asking about liberation and constraint, and how that could potentially relate to being human."1
In 2018, David Zwirner Books will publish an artist’s publication related to the exhibition.
1 Chris Ofili in imagine …, "Chris Ofili - The Caged Bird’s Song," BBC One, Winter 2017.