Tate Britain Exhibition

Chris Ofili

Chris Ofili Tate Britain exhibition banner

Chris Ofili: Exploding the Crystal

Chris Ofili’s intensely coloured and intricately ornamented paintings are on show at Tate Britain in a major survey of the artist’s career that brings together over 45 paintings, as well as pencil drawings and watercolours from the mid 1990s to today. One of the most acclaimed British painters of his generation, Ofili won the Turner Prize in 1998 and represented Great Britain at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003.

Ofili has built an international reputation with his works that bridge the sacred and the profane, popular culture and beliefs. His exuberant paintings are renowned for their rich layering and inventive use of media, including balls of elephant dung that punctuate the canvas and support them at their base, as well as glitter, resin, map pins and magazine cut-outs.

Ofili's early works draw on a wide range of influences, from Zimbabwean cave painting to blaxploitation movies, fusing comic book heroes and icons of funk and hip-hop. For the first time, these celebrated paintings are presented alongside current developments in his practice following his move to Trinidad in 2005. While adopting a simplified colour palette and pared-down forms, his recent works continue to draw on diverse sources of inspiration, and are full of references to sensual and Biblical themes as well as explore Trinidad’s landscape and mythology.

Definite highlights include No Woman, No Cry 1998, a tender portrait of a weeping female figure created in the aftermath of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry and The Upper Room 1999–2002, a darkened, walnut-panelled room containing thirteen canvases depicting rhesus macaque monkeys. Each is differentiated in bold colours, and individually spot-lit.

Hip, cool and wildly inventive
The Guardian

You can’t fail to be entertained
The Times

Modern Master of radiant colour
Daily Telegraph


Chris Ofili: INSA

Tate Britain

London SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit


27 January – 16 May 2010

Sponsored by

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

Guaranty Trust Bank

Guaranty Trust Bank

In partnership with

The Chris Ofili Exhibition Supporters Group

The Chris Ofili Exhibition Supporters Group

Find out more

  • Tate Etc

    In search of the real me

    Chris Ofili and Christy Lange

    Christy Lange talks to Chris Ofili ahead of his exhibition at Tate Britain
  • Tate Britain

    Chris Ofili: The Upper Room

    Chris Ofili: The Upper Room
  • Listen

    Afrodizzia: Ofili in Focus

    Tim Marlow joins a panel including Bonnie Greer, Leon Wainwright and Gayle Chong Kwan to discuss Chris Ofili and his …
  • Listen

    David Adjaye on Chris Ofili

    Chris Ofili's The Upper Room was first displayed in 2002, to great critical acclaim. This installation, on show in the …
  • Artist

    Chris Ofili

    born 1968