Chris Ofili - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Wednesday, October 15, 2014 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin

  • Catalogue Essay

    In Chris Ofili’s Pramniam Odyssey I series the concept of the trinity is utilised on both religious and conceptual levels. Using beauty, love and unity as primary subjects the artist succeeds in creating dynamic works that explore both classical and contemporary notions of beauty whilst simultaneously alluding to notions of racial inequality, culture and discrimination. The limited palette, featuring a trio of symbolic colours, refers to the assortment of red, black and green as appropriated by the pan-Africanism movement of Marcus Garvey in the 1920’s. Although this symbolism has been heavily politicised, the artist emphasises its ulterior qualities: “the red, black and green need not be a politically aggressive stance, it could just depict and represent beauty and love and unity”.
    There is also an underlying element of sexuality and undeniable sensuality in the image. The title of the work, Pramnian Odyssey I, is a cultural reference to the Pramnian wines that originated from the island of Lesbos. In the present lot, the implication of these components is hinted at in the suggestively depicted women, surrounded by sumptuous grapes and golden vines. Evocative and alluring, the work is rich in aesthetic as well as theory and perfectly reflects the quintessential qualities of Ofili’s distinctive oeuvre. “I’m communicating something to do with the way I look at the world. It’s exciting for me that things can have an apparent narrative with many potential narratives within it. I have my working title, my reading, but then there are many options for how to interpret something.”


Pramnian Odyssey I

dyed leather, suede leather and gold leaf collage on panel, in artist's frame
183.4 x 128.4 cm (72 1/4 x 50 1/2 in.)
Stamped with artist's monogram lower right.

£80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for £98,500

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Head of Day Sale

+44 207 318 4061

Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 16 October 2014 2pm