Chris Ofili: Pink Daydreams of a Faun

    On view 2 June–29 July 2023
    Tuesday–Saturday: 10am–6pm
    Special opening for London Gallery Weekend: Sunday 4 June: 10am–5pm
    16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW

    Chris Ofili’s Pink Daydreams of a Faun is a series of prints on unique Suminagashi paintings, inspired by Stéphane Mallarmé’s Symbolist poem L’Après-midi d’un faune, and printed and published in 29 suites by Two Palms, New York. Alongside the suite on view is a new book published by Victoria Miro, which includes Mallarmé’s poem and an essay by Minna Moore Ede, who traces its legacy across works by Debussy, Manet, Nijinsky and others, and considers its influence as a generative impulse in Ofili’s work.

    Pink Daydreams of a Faun

    Suite of 10 etchings with title page and colophon on unique Suminagashi paintings in a portfolio box
    One of 29 suites
    29.2 x 20.3 cm
    11 1/2 x 8 in
    47.6 x 36.2 cm
    18 3/4 x 14 1/4 in

    Chris Ofili, Pink Daydreams of a Faun

    More info

    Since 2006, the artist has worked with Two Palms on various series, embracing the unknown outcomes of printmaking to devise unexpected methods for creating monoprints and etchings, among other kinds of printmaking. Pink Daydreams of a Faun uses the Suminagashi Japanese paper marbling technique to create unique chine collé backgrounds for ten etchings inspired by Stéphane Mallarmé’s 1876 poem L’Après-midi d’un faune. The abstracted background Ofili creates with the Suminagashi paintings evokes the faun’s dreamlike state as he attempts to reconcile whether the encounter with nymphs he recalls is a dream or reality. Ofili interpreted Mallarmé’s poem through his own context and surroundings, choosing colours that reflect the volcanic ash and coral pink sand of Barbados.


    Featuring one of the 29 suites of works, this book, designed by Atelier Dyakova and published by Victoria Miro, includes Mallarmé’s poem and a new essay by Minna Moore Ede:

    ‘Ofili’s Pink Daydreams of a Faun summons us into his world, a natural world of waterfalls and magical flowers, longhaired nymphs and a mystical faun whose dreams become our dreams as our eye explores shapes that morph from one thing into another. Water and watercolour merge and dissipate in front of our eyes. Lines are confident and continuous as well as free flowing… In fact, the very nature of the reproducibility of the etching process is turned on its head by Ofili’s use of Suminagashi painting which means that what we see in front of us can never quite be replicated. As always there is magic afoot in Ofili’s world, and who is to say what is real and what is imagined.’

    Limited edition of 30: £250

    Signed by Chris Ofili. Each limited-edition book has a unique book jacket hand painted by the artist, using the Suminagashi technique that he employed to create the series of prints.

    Standard Edition: special exhibition price £45

    190 x 270mm
    56 pages
    Soft-back cover
    Raised foil-blocking and screen-printing on the cover
    Designed by Atelier Dyakova
    Printed and bound by Roy Killen
    Published by Victoria Miro
    ISBN 978-1-914506-06-2

    About the artist

    Portrait of Chris Ofili, 2023; photo © Omar Said

    Chris Ofili was born in Manchester, England, in 1968, and currently lives and works in Trinidad. Major solo exhibitions of the artist’s work have been presented at international venues including the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (2017–2019); National Gallery, London (2017); New Museum, New York (2014–2015), travelling to Aspen Art Museum (2015); The Arts Club of Chicago (2010); Tate Britain, London (2010 and 2005); Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (2006), The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2005), and Serpentine Gallery, London (1998). The artist represented Britain in the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 and won the Turner Prize in 1998.

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