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A bright new wave - Chris Ofili

Article relating to an exhibition, 2010
Published by: Guardian
Year published: 2010
Number of pages: 4

image of A bright new wave - Chris Ofili

A bright new wave was the title of a feature on Chris Ofili in the Guardian Weekend magazine of Saturday 16 January 2010. The feature itself, on pages 24 - 27 of the magazine, related to Ofili’s mid-career retrospective at the Tate Britain, 27 January - 16 May 2010. “Having made his name and some controversy with elephant dung, Chris Ofili moved to the Caribbean for a fresh start. Now he’s returning to England for a major new show. He tells Gary Younge why he finally feels able to be himself. Portrait by Horace Ové”. Earlier in the magazine, the feature had been trailed as Been There Dung That – Why did Chris Ofili turn his back on art? And why make a comeback now?

Two of Ofili’s paintings accompany Younge’s piece and one quote from Ofili is highlighted within the feature. ‘Success? You have to leave the real you at home because the fake Chris Ofili has been invited to dinner’ 

Younge’s feature opened with, “A couple of years after he won the 1998 Turner Prize, Chris Ofili was in Atlantis art store in the East End of London, buying huge quantities of paint and holding up a queue. When he handed over his credit card, the cashier recognised his name and struck up a conversation about his work. A student standing behind Ofili then joined in with some excitement. “Are you Chris Ofili?” he asked. “In art school, the word was you’d given up.” Ofili was delighted. “Go back and tell your friends that I’ve definitely given up,” he replied. “Just don’t tell them you saw me buying this much paint or they won’t believe you.” “

The substantial feature was accompanied by a large portrait of Ofili, taken in his studio, by veteran photographer and film-maker, Horace Ové

The Guardian and its Weekend magazine was responsible for a significant number of features on Ofili. One of the first was Within These Walls, Guardian Weekend, November 25 2000, pp. 59 – 66. The piece looked at the ways in which a number of houses had been remodelled, and included photographs of Ofili’s London home. Guardian Weekend magazine went on to produce substantial features on Ofili in two issues. The first, which featured a detail of a work by Ofili on its cover, together with the cover text Chris Ofili Paints His Way to Paradise. The feature, written by Jonathan Jones, was titled Paradise Reclaimed, Saturday 15 June 2002, pp. 18 – 23 and p. 95. The second was A bright new wave. Beyond this, another substantial piece of Guardian coverage on Ofili was a full-page feature, in the main newspaper, on his 2010 mid-career retrospective at Tate Britain. Charlotte Higgins, In retrospect, Turner prize winner Ofili has gone from urban jungle to Caribbean vision, 26 January 2010, p. 7. For good measure, the Guardian G2 supplement of the same issue included a comment piece on Ofili, written by longtime Ofili admirer, Adrian Searle. Adrian Searle, Chris Ofili heads into the shadows,

Hip, cool and wildly inventive, Chris Ofili burst onto the scene in the early 90s. Now he’s ditching the dung and the glitter, and going some place darker

The Guardian G2, 26 January 2010, pp. 19 - 21

Related people

»  Chris Ofili

Born, 1968 in Manchester, UK

»  Horace Ové

Born, 1939 in Trindad and Tobago

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Tate Britain

London, United Kingdom