Alan Cristea Gallery presents new editions by Julian Opie alongside the most innovative and exciting prints and animations Opie has made in the past three years. Opie’s recent editions, produced in a variety of media, have been inspired by different views of the town and countryside. In London, Opie presents us with figures walking in the rain, tourists on the Southbank, passers-by at school gates and busy crowds of workers descending on the city.
Opie is an artist of contemporary life, confronting us with observations of the normal everyday experiences of the world. Alan Cristea comments that Opie has achieved this status, “through reminding us to look at what is around us, by highlighting the essential qualities of what we are looking at … He has taught me how to look and, in doing so, has reminded me of the mundane miracle of life.”
Opie’s editions present twenty-first century versions of time honoured artistic genres. A new pair of screenprints, Walking in the rain, (2015) depicting figures in London and Seoul, reference striding figures in ancient Egyptian art and classical friezes to be found on both Greek and Roman buildings. The series, French Landscapes (2013), based on photos taken by the artist in France at different times of the day in different weather conditions, present us with contemporary versions of Hiroshige’s nineteenth-century woodblocks of Japanese landscapes. But of course twenty-first century methods are employed, whether it be lenticular or computer technology.
Opie draws inspiration from both high art and the vernacular. The bold lines and clarity of his Galloping Horses. (2013) are reminiscent of the kind of display you might find in a bookmakers window or on a pub sign. The artist continues to transfer urban technology to rural subjects and we will unveil, for the first time, a new series of metal wall hangings, Nature 1. (2015), depicting boats, sheep, carp and pebbles which have been cut from sheet aluminum.
The exhibition also includes the launch of a new series of lenticulars, Nature 2. (2015), which depict forest trees, boats, sheep and fish in shallow rock pools. They will be shown alongside small sculptures, metal silhouettes, screenprints and lenticulars, dating from 2012 – 2015. The exhibition is being displayed across two spaces in 31 and 34 Cork Street.
Opie’s exhibition, Winter, originally shown at the Alan Cristea Gallery in 2013, is being exhibited at the British High Commission, New Delhi, India from 15 May to 27 July 2015, as part of the British Council International Touring Exhibitions Programme.
Images: Julian Opie: 2012 – 2015, Alan Cristea Gallery 2015. P A Black © Artlyst 2015
Julian Opie: 2012 – 2015 – Alan Cristea Gallery – until 18 July 2015