Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Day #37 - Art for Lent: Chris Ofili's "The Upper Room" #Lent2016

By Aaron Rosen
Chris Ofili. "The Upper Room" (1999-2002) by Chris Ofili. Oil paint, acrylic paint, glitter, graphite, pen, elephant dung, polyester resin, and map pins on 13 canvases, each 72 1/8 x 48 3/8 in. Installation view, victoria Miro Gallery, London, 2002
Drawing upong the King James Bible's description of an 'upper room' in which the Last Supper takes place (Matthew 14:15), Ofili's thirteen canvases represent Jesus surrounded by his disciples. Each composition features a brightly coloured rhesus macaque monkey resting on balls of elephant dung. The architect David Adjaye reflects, 'Chris wanted to de-commodify painting, to slow the viewer down and make it an experience.' Not only do Adjaye's walnut-wood panels create this effect visually, they lend the room a distinctiive aroma. [page 238]

Lent is the annual Christian preparation for Easter. "Today's Art for Lent2016" features artworks that illustrate the Christian "Battle between Carnival and Lent."
Chris Ofili Mono Oro 1999–2002 © Chris Ofili Image: courtesy Victoria Miro Gallery, London Photo: Stephen White