Lisson Gallery

Julian Opie: OP.VR@LISSON/London

London, 3 March – 15 April 2023

Music by Archie Wingate

Book VR experience here

Julian Opie introduces an ambitious new series of works across Lisson Gallery’s Bell Street spaces this March. The exhibition begins with the UK premiere of a ground-breaking new virtual reality experience: the first time Lisson Gallery has presented a VR work in its 50+ year history. Using portable headsets, visitors are invited to journey through a new dimension, encompassing multiple realms spanning from intimate interactions to multi-layered experiences. The presentation also includes the reveal of a new fast-paced dance sequence, life-size and large-scale portraits, as well as landscapes and architectural works, both indoors and out.

Opie is known for his distinctive distilling of imagery from everyday life into pared-back symbols, be it of people, animals or buildings, focusing on depicting our experiences, observations and sensations, remembered and then recreated. While there are familiar motifs and materials, in this exhibition we see a recent expansion of Opie’s practice, with the artist delving into a different way in which images are received in the world – via social media platforms. Since Opie began introducing movement into art in the 1980s, new innovations and technology have revolutionised the possibilities of doing so, developing from early computer monitors to wall-based flat screens, and onto LED public signage. Recently, Opie has expanded into capturing movement in a faster, shorter-form tempo, discovering a high-energy dance popular on TikTok and YouTube, seen as both a mark of celebration as well as an antidote to the quiet periods of lockdown. Collaborating with his daughter, a professional dancer, Opie gathered a group of performers to replicate the sequence, and commissioned a series of dance tracks to accompany it. This series can be seen as both two-dimensional vinyls and LEDs, with imprints of larger-than-life figures frozen in time on the gallery walls, as well as through four-sided computer animations.

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27 Bell Street

Opening Times:
Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00am – 6:00pm

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