Bob van Orsouw

Julian Opie

30 May - 31 Jul 2015

© Julian Opie
Estate agent and Physiotherapist. 2.
30 May – 31 July 2015

With public commissions from Seoul to New York, and an uninterrupted flow of large museum exhibitions around the world, the work of Julian Opie is firmly embedded in the cannon of contemporary art history. At once recognisable, Opie’s distinctive formal language reflects his artistic preoccupation with the idea of representation, and the means by which images are perceived and understood. Always at the forefront of digital innovation, Opie explores ways of seeing through reinterpreting the vocabulary of everyday life; his typical, reductive style speaks to both a visual and spatial experience of the world around us. Addressing the fundamentals of classical portraiture, sculpture, and even classical Japanese woodblock prints, the artist connects the slick visual language of modern society and art history.

Following the inauguration of his to date largest permanent public art piece, Walk (2014), last year on Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich, Galerie Bob van Orsouw proudly announces Opie’s sixth solo exhibition, setting the stage for the artist’s latest work that is an evident continuation from his archetypal walking figures: “A running figure has an almost balletic sense of rhythm and grace much closer to an animal than a person. The outfit and paraphernalia of the average runner is brightly coloured and somewhat extreme and emphatic. I found myself using very bright background colours based on public safety signage”.

Combined with large-scale wall paintings the exhibition is one to be experienced: “Like it or not, any exhibition creates an environment and can not help but tell a story” the artist explains. “Rather than suppress this I have often tried to use and extend this idea of a show as a landscape you enter and read. By combining giant wall paintings of forests with the suggested movement of people running I hope to set up an overall picture of movement through the world. Your movement sets the world in motion revealing depth as you move through the silhouetted trees. The depicted black and white forests come from around the world, New England, Cornwall and the islands of Japan. The running humans can chase each other around the gallery, through the landscape using both still and animated paintings”.
Born 1958 in London and graduate of Goldsmith’s School of Art, Opie is widely exhibited internationally in renowned institutions, with solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Helsinki (2015); IVAM, Valencia, Spain (2010); MAK, Vienna (2008); Mito Tower, Japan (2008); CAC Malaga (2006); Neues Museum, Nuremburg (2003); Kunstverein Hannover (1994); and Hayward Gallery, London (1993), to name only a few. Major group shows include the Shanghai Biennale (2006); 11th Biennial of Sydney (1998); documenta 8, Kassel, Germany (1987); or XIIème Biennale de Paris (1985). His works can be found in countless notable public and private collections, such as Kunsthaus Zurich; National Portrait Gallery, The Victoria and Albert Museum, and The Tate Gallery, London; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, USA; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; The National Museum of Art, Osaka; Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt; and MoMAT, Tokyo.

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