With a strong interest in reality, the idea of the representation and how images are perceived and understood, Julian Opie presents a collection of new and recent works in the main gallery space and the Sculpture park that will range in medium from painting and sculpture to LCD screens and LEDs. For the exhibition, Opie will also be presenting a new body of sculptural works produced after his visit to Portugal to draw the Basílica da Estrela and the Sé Catedral de Aveiro. Working with various cutting edge, but also with traditional techniques, he creates and demonstrates a visual and spatial experience.
Drawing on the visual language of contemporary life, Opie’s work is defined by a stripped-down vocabulary of schematic lines. With influences as diverse as billboard signs, contemporary dance, classical portraiture and sculpture, the artist distils his images from the vast but everyday world we encounter, rendering them in his universally recognisable style. Playing upon the tension between a vague and specific reality, he transforms subjects into universal signs while exploring the genre of portraiture.
By observing the world through cities and its people, Opie constructs an environment of abstracted figures that not only represent a portrait of the individuals and society but simultaneously question our own realities.