Chris Ofili at Tate Britain

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This morning’s press view of the new Chris Ofili exhibition at Tate Britain was the perfect antidote to a rainy, grey Monday.

Viewed from afar, the large canvases are striking, bright and full of colour. On closer inspection, you can see the pieces are a collage of multi-coloured dots with a few additions – human teeth, glitter, beads and most famously, elephant dung!

My favourite paintings were the psychedelic Afrodizzia (Second version) and No Woman, No Cry, a moving portrait of a weeping woman, which Ofili created in the aftermath of the Stephen Lawrence enquiry.

The Turner Prize-winning artist was born in Manchester and first came to prominence in the mid-90s. His art is heavily influenced by his Nigerian heritage, hip-hop culture, spirituality and nature, and his art cleverly fuses all of these elements.

As well as the paintings, there are a range of watercolours and sketches on display. Some of Ofili’s later work, inspired by a residency in Trinidad, is also included. It’s interesting to see how his style has changed – the later works are much more subdued, using layers of dark blue and the theme of nature becomes increasingly important.

Chris Ofili opens at Tate Britain on 27 January and continues until 16 May.


  1. Claire Doble says:

    I’m really looking forward to this show. I’d never even heard of Ofili before, but just seeing the reprints of his pics has moved me, I can’t wait to see them “live”!

  2. Karen.. says:

    great show…. nearly as good as Landy at SLG and of course “The Blind Man in the Dark looking for the black cat who isn’t there…………” at the ICA…