From a shoal of virtual carp swimming in the NGV’s waterwall to a towering metropolis in Federation Court, more than 60 of Julian Opie’s instantly recognisable works – renowned for their bold and pared back style – will be on display at the National Gallery of Victoria from 9 November 2018.
Responding directly to the architecture of NGV International, Opie will create the largest ever work presented in Federation Court: a city of skyscrapers that stretch all the way up to the glass ceiling. Standing 13 metres high at its tallest point, the work creates an immersive metropolis where visitors can reflect on the urban environment.
Presented alongside the cityscape will be a school of animated fish that appear to swim behind the falling water of the NGV’s waterwall; stone sheep grazing, crows pecking and a horse galloping in the Grollo Equiset Garden; a reimagining of the famed Belgian fountain Manneken Pis in the NGV moat; and, in a series of figurative sculptures, a crowd of people walking are caught mid-stride in the foyer spaces.
Drawn straight from the streets of Melbourne, a selection of Opie’s recent walking figures of Melburnians will also be on display, offering visitors a unique opportunity to see their community rendered by the artist in his signature aesthetic. The exhibition will also survey more than forty of the artist’s animated and moving image works, from 1993 to the present.
“Since graduating from art school in the early 1980s, Opie burst onto the London art scene and developed a minimalist approach to painting, sculpture and film that recalls the endless human motion captured in Roman and Egyptian friezes, as well as Eadweard Muybridge’s famous photographic sequences,” said Tony Ellwood AM, Director NGV.
An interactive exhibition for families, Julian Opie: Studio for Kids, will also be on display and feature hands-on and digital activities developed in collaboration with the artist. With a strong focus on Opie’s interests in drawing, portraiture and observation, young visitors will learn new techniques and processes to create their own portraits and experiment with abstract images.
NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Exhibition: 9 November 2018 – 17 February 2019
For more information, visit: www.ngv.melbourne for details.
Image: Julian Opie, Walking in Melbourne 1 2018. vinyl on wooden stretcher, 250.0 x 284.2 x 3.5 cm © Julian Opie