Chris Ofili, The Raising of Lazarus, 2007, 
oil and charcoal on linen, 
109 3/4 x 78 7/8".


Chris Ofili

Tate Britain
January 27–May 16, 2010

Curated by Judith Nesbitt

It takes guts to shed your clothes in public, but this, in effect, is what Chris Ofili has done in his paintings over the past five years. Layer by layer, he has peeled away the resin, glitter, and signature fecal excrescences that once made his canvases such dense and enthralling objects, laying bare the sinewy contours and flat fields of color that long served as hidden armatures. This shift makes all the more timely Ofili’s Tate retrospective of forty-five paintings (some never previously exhibited) and a selection of works on paper. Spanning from the mid-’90s until today, the show should illuminate the continuities and ruptures between Ofili’s recent and earlier output, as well as between media like drawing and painting, the former of which has gained new clarity and prominence in the latter’s domain.