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Created the same year as he won the Turner Prize, Ofili’s painting has become one of the most iconic artworks by a British artist in the last 25 years.
The title of this work is the name of a 1974 song by Bob Marley.
A phosphorescent inscription in the painting indicates that the crying woman depicted is Doreen Lawrence (now Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBE), the mother of Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered as a teenage boy in an unprovoked racist attack in London in 1993, and the photographs inside the tears in this work are all images of Stephen.
As well as this specific reference, the artist intended the painting to be read as a universal portrayal of melancholy and grief.
No Woman, No Cry will now become a key artwork in Tate Liverpool’s free collection display, Constellations, on the second floor of the gallery.
At the heart of each constellation is a ‘trigger’ artwork, chosen for its profound and revolutionary effect on modern and contemporary art. Surrounding the trigger works are artworks that relate to it and to each other, across time and location.
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