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Tom Morton

Frieze magazine’s curios editor, Tom Morton, wrote a review of Chris Ofili’s two exhibitions at Victoria Miro Gallery in 2002, in Frieze Issue 70, October 2002, p. 87

“Chris Ofili’s paintings are heady, alluring things, so maybe it’s appropriate that Afromantics (2000-2), exhibited on the ground floor of ‘Freedom One Day’ - Ofili’s first show in London for four years.” Morton goes on to describe the four paintings that comprise this part of the exhibition, before going on to state that “Ofili has swiped his colour scheme from Marcus Garvey’s design for a pan-African flag - green for the lost kingdom, black for the fallen, red for the blood that was shed.”

Morton segued his reviews of the two concurrent Ofili exhibitions with “If Ofili’s tricolour paintings are concerned with worldly things, the paintings in the upper gallery explore something much more obviously spiritual.” Morton goes on to describe the paintings in The Upper Room “Housed in a darkened walnut room designed by David Adjaye.”

Morton concluded “If [Ofili’s] monkeys are about anything, they’re about a faith in painting: a messy, earthbound business that - if we’re lucky - occasionally brushes up against something heavenly.”

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Review relating to an exhibition, 2002