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Chris Ofili - The Upper Room - Tate Britain

Solo show at Tate Britain. 2005 - 2007
Date: 13 September, 2005 until 1 January, 2007

The Upper Room was a collection of  thirteen of Chris Ofili’s paintings, that comprised a collaboration with David Adjaye. The thirteen paintings each featured, in profile, the image of a monkey, laid over intricate and highly decorative patterning and backgrounds, reflective of what was, at the time, Ofili’s trademark style of painting. Each painting rested on what appeared at the time to be Ofili’s distinctive motif and signature - balls of elephant dung.

The paintings, executed between 1999 and 2002, were exhibited in a special wood-panelled environment, designed by the popular architect, David Adjaye OBE. The postcard pack was described on its packaging as containing “thirteen postcardss of the beautiful and intricate paintings of Chris Ofili’s The Upper Room.

The paintings were at the centre of a controversy when it came to light that the Tate acquired the series, even as Ofili served as a Tate trustee. This breach of Charity Commission rules brought the Tate a reprimand and much unwanted, uncomfortable publicity.

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click to show details of Chris Ofili - The Upper Room -13 Postcards

»  Chris Ofili - The Upper Room -13 Postcards

Postcard relating to an individual

People in this exhibition

»  David Adjaye (Sir)

Born, 1966 in Dar-es-Salaam

»  Chris Ofili

Born, 1968 in Manchester, UK

Exhibition venues

»  Tate Britain

London, United Kingdom