Lisson Gallery

Julian Opie

7 November 2020 – 15 February 2021

Julian Opie artwork
Julian Opie artwork
Julian Opie artwork
Julian Opie artwork
Julian Opie artwork

Lisson Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of all new work by renowned British artist Julian Opie, for his first solo exhibition with the gallery in Shanghai. The presentation features seven works depicting new subjects (all 2020) in a variety of media, with three large-scale group portraits, three stand-alone sculptures, and one moving computer animation. In this new body of work, Opie draws on the ubiquitous imagery of urban scenes and the cityscape, recalling the vocabulary of everyday life but instilling it with a new energy and vitality. The show coincides with Opie’s presentation as part of the Jing'an International Sculpture Project in Shanghai, as well as the unveiling of his commission for the Huarun Group Embankment Square Pudong. 

Opie, renowned globally for his contribution to contemporary art, draws on influences as diverse as billboard signs, contemporary dance, classical portraiture and sculpture. A central motif of Opie’s work is the human figure, whether depicted running, posing, walking or dancing, alone or in crowded cities. These portraits – found in public spaces in many major cities across the world – reflect the artist’s preoccupation with exploring the very nature of representation and the means by which it is perceived and understood.

The artist’s bold colours and radically simplified forms can be seen here in the lightboxes, Old Street May 2. and Old Street June 1. where striking figures in white, yellow and black silhouette against vibrant orange and blue backdrops, alongside the quieter palette, Old Street August 12. (all 2020). These works are based on photographs taken of scenes this year, showing city commuters walking with distinct purpose, often clutching their phones or reading emails. Each figure is entirely unique, through their fashion style, expression, prop or accessory. Despite their proximity to one another, the figures are all positioned deep within their own world, seemingly unaffected by the commotion around them. A similar work from the series, Old Street May 8. (2020) will be presented on Lisson Gallery’s West Bund booth.

Visible from the gallery and from the street below are two sculptures presented on Lisson’s balcony. The people represented in Stripes. and Folder. (both 2020) are caught in movement, symmetrically facing away from each other and walking in opposite directions. Inside, another sculpture, Winter 4. illustrates a pair walking together, in winter coats. Opie’s portraits are instantly recognisable, bearing the mark of homogeneity – with the familiar briefcase, attitude or stance ­– yet carry with them a certain transience from capturing a precise moment in time.

The final work in the exhibition is Kiri Shuja Amelia Clive 2. (2020), an LED animation led by a computer-generated algorithm. This bold image depicts figures mostly running, solo or in pairs, alongside each other, against a bright green setting. The rigorous precision of the outline of these forms highlights the artist’s enduring emphasis on drawing. Opie first starts with the line, and from there determines exactly what features are fundamental to depicting the character, in its purest, simplest form. The arrangements of the compositions and the rhythm of the movements recall classical vocabulary, from Egyptian friezes to Greek vases, where a pose or stance could embody the individual’s status or intention. 

Alongside the exhibition this Autumn, Opie will unveil a new sculptural commission for Embankment Square in Lujiazui, Shanghai this September, in addition to presenting three LED monolithic works as part of the sixth Jing'an International Sculpture Project in Jing'an. Opie will also be included in the exhibition organised by Art Tower in Westbund, bringing together a selection of leading Chinese and international artists.


里森画廊 (Lisson Gallery) 荣幸宣布即将呈现英国著名艺术家朱利安·奥培 (Julian Opie) 在上海空间的首次个展。 展览将呈现艺术家 2020 年的七件新作,包括三件人群肖像、三件独立雕塑以及一件屏幕循环动画作品。奥培 新作汲取了城市景观中无处不在的图像,为日常生活语汇注入新的活力。同期,奥培参展的 2020 上海静安国 际雕塑展正在展出,其委约新作也在浦东陆家嘴滨江中心揭幕。

朱利安·奥培对当代艺术卓有贡献,拥有非常高的国际知名度,他受到广告牌、现代舞、古典肖像和雕塑等多 种元素的影响。奥培作品中的一个核心主题是人物肖像,其笔下人物或孤身一人,或置身拥挤城市,奔跑、 行走、舞蹈、摆姿。这些在世界各地主要城市的公共空间耳熟能详的形象,反映了艺术家自身对探索表征的 本质以及感知理解方式的专注。

在灯箱作品《5 月 2 日的老街》和《6 月 1 日的老街》中,可以看到艺术家大胆的色彩和彻底简化的形式,白 色、黄色和黑色的轮廓与充满活力的橙色和蓝色背景相映成趣。一旁的《8 月 12 日的老街》则展现了较为宁 静的调色板般的多种色彩。这三件作品均于 2020 年完成,基于今年拍摄的场景照片而作,展示了城市中行走 的通勤者,常常手中抓着手机或是在回信息邮件。每个人物在风格、动作、衣着以及配饰皆不相同。尽管人 们行走时彼此靠近,却都深陷于自己的世界中,似乎不受周围动静的影响。该系列作品《5 月 8 日的老街》 (2020) 也将于里森画廊西岸艺博会的展位中展出。

在画廊外也可以看到在画廊阳台上所展出的两座雕塑。《条纹》和《文件袋》中的人物均处于运动状态,背 对彼此,朝相反方向行走。在画廊空间内部,雕塑作品《冬 4》描绘了一对着冬衣同行的伴侣。奥培的肖像 具有极高的辨识度——为人熟知的公文包、人物态度或姿态等标志性语言,同时也因精确抓取某一瞬间而具 有特定的瞬时性。

展览中最后一件作品《基里,舒贾,艾米莉亚,克莱夫 2》(2020) 是由电脑算法生成的 LED 屏循环动画作品。 大胆的图像描绘了亮绿色的背景下大多独自或成对奔跑的人物形象,这些严谨绘制的精确轮廓突显了艺术家 对绘画的不懈追求。 奥培由线条出发,并以此为起点确认了以最纯粹、最简单的形式描绘人物的基本特征。 作品的构图和人物运动的节奏让人回想起古典语汇——从古埃及檐壁饰带到古希腊花瓶,人物的姿势或姿态 可以体现个人的地位或意图。

除本次个展外,奥培的委约新作已于 9 月在浦东陆家嘴滨江中心揭幕,其三件整体式 LED 作品也在第六届上 海静安国际雕塑展上展出。 奥培还将参展由“西岸艺岛”举办的群展,展览将汇集一批国际国内知名艺术家。

2/F, 27 Huqiu Road

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

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