Julian Opie U.K., b. 1958
"The process of reading things as simulations but knowing at the same time that they are real is quite central to my work." - Julian Opie
Julian Opie is a contemporary British artist known for his distinctive depictions of figures, portraits, and landscapes. The highly stylized treatment Opie gives his subjects-whereby features are created by thick black outlines and filled in with solid areas of flat color-is a blend of Pop Art and Minimalism with a wholly contemporary sensibility. "The process of reading things as simulations but knowing at the same time that they are real is quite central to my work," Opie has observed of his own art.
Born in 1958 in London, United Kingdom, Opie studied at Goldsmiths in London during the early 1980s. His earliest works consisted of painted steel sculptures exploring the relationship between visual and spatial observation. He is part of the group know as New British Sculpture, alongside artists such as Anish Kapoor and Tony Cragg. Over time, the artist has expanded his practice to include painting, installation, and cover art for albums.
The artist's works are part of the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and others. His design for the band Blur's album 'Best of Blur' (2000) was awarded the Music Week CADS for Best Illustration in 2001. Opie currently lives and works in his hometown of London, United Kingdom.
Exhibition highlights include Berardo Museum, Lisbon, Portugal (2020); Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Japan (2019); Gerhardsen Gerner, Oslo, Norway (2019); The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2018); National Portrait Gallery, London, UK (2017); Suwon Ipark Museum of Art, Korea (2017); Fosun Foundation, Shanghai, China (2017); Fundacion Bancaja, Valencia, Spain (2017); Kunsthalle Helsinki, Finland (2015); Museum of Contemporary Art Krakow (MoCAK), Poland (2014); National Portrait Gallery, London, UK (2011); IVAM, Valencia, Spain (2010); MAK, Vienna, Austria (2008); CAC Malaga, Spain (2006); Neues Museum, Nuremberg, Germany (2003); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2001); Kunstverein Hannover, Germany (1994) and Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK (1985). Major group exhibitions include 'I Want! I Want! Art & Technology' at Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2017); 'This Is Not The Reality. What Kind Of Reality?', 57th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2017); the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK (2016); Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK (2014); Tate Britain, London, UK (2013); the Shanghai Biennale (2006); 11th Biennial of Sydney (1998); documenta 8, Kassel, Germany (1987); and XIIème Biennale de Paris (1985). Public projects include 'Walking in Taipei', Taipei, Taiwan and 'Walking in Hong Kong', Tower 535, Hong Kong (2016); Arendt & Medernach, Luxembourg (2016); Heathrow Terminal 1 (1998); and the prison Wormwood Scrubs, London (1994).