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NYTimes Art in Review: Chris Ofili, Elif Uras, Thomas Eggerer

CHRIS OFILI: Devil�s Pie,” David Zwirner, New York, NY. Through Nov. 3. Holland Cotter reports: “Mr. Ofili has always been forthright about the devotional spirit of his art; here he makes the cross-cultural nature of the spirit clear, and a little too clear. Time and further experimentation should bring the synthesis he�s after. I take the Zwirner show as a laboratory � a laying out of developmental material, a sorting through of ideas � and I like it for exactly that reason. We get a lot of airtight minor shows in Chelsea; it�s not every day that you get to see a major artist thinking. You do here.” Read more.Related link: Ofili shows us the long journey, the big picture
ELIF URAS: The Occidentalist,” Smith-Stewart, New York, NY. Through Nov. 4. Karen Rosenberg reports:”Born in Ankara, Turkey, and educated in the northeastern United States, the painter Elif Uras has seized on the buzzword Occidentalism � a retort to Edward Said�s Orientalism….Ms. Uras can be both decorative and topical. Otherwise, her �clash of civilizations� is more an arranged marriage.” Read more.
THOMAS EGGERER: Run River,” Friedrich Petzel, New York, NY. Through Nov. 10. Martha Schwendener reports: “Art in galleries is appearing more frequently with a literary accompaniment: an artist-written news release or stream-of-conscious text. It arrives here in the form of a poem by the artist R. H. Quaytman, composed from recordings of Thomas Eggerer speaking about his paintings. The poem is distributed as a handout to gallery visitors….Mr. Eggerer is aware of the challenges facing contemporary painters. ‘As if one�s own liberated language could speak for itself/in a medium as overdetermined as painting,’ the poem says. But here the pressures of forging that liberated language nearly drown out the visual pleasure. The poem, unfortunately, doesn�t pick up any of the slack. Read more.

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