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Last Updated: Friday, 13 June, 2003, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Ofili leads UK in Venice show
Chris Ofili painting
Ofili has painted five new works
Turner Prize-winning artist Chris Ofili will be the UK's representative at the world's most important exhibition of contemporary art, which opens in Venice this weekend.

Ofili will join artists from around world at the 50th Venice Biennale, which runs from 15 June to 2 November.

Ofili, who made headlines for using elephant dung in his painting of the Virgin Mary, will exhibit new work specially commissioned by the British Council.

The Venice Biennale has built a strong global reputation for surprising its visitors with unusual works, displayed in innovative ways.

A bronze statue by Hungarian artists Little Warsaw
Hungary's entry focuses on the history of ancient Egypt

But Ofili's works are comparatively low-key. He has created a series of five brightly coloured paintings, featuring romantic scenes between two lovers against an exotic background.

They occupy the entire British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The pavilion was designed by Ofili and the architect David Adjaye.

The theme of this year's Venice Biennale is Dream and Conflicts. Artists from 64 countries are putting their work on display.

The Spanish entry features a wall blocking entry to the artists own exhibition space.

New Zealand has chosen a sports utility vehicle placed inside a church, while Korea are exhibiting a motorcycle bursting through a gallery wall.

Several venues around the historic city of Venice will be used as exhibition centres, including the Arsenale, the Giardini della Biennale and the Museo Correr.


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Chris Ofili profile
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