Julian Opie's major survey exhibition at the Museo Coleção Berardo, Lisbon
7 April 2020
The major survey exhibition 'Julian Opie. New Work.' at the Museu Coleção Berardo in Lisbon is the artist’s first solo show in the Portuguese capital. Featuring large-scale, site-specific installations, animations and sculpture, the exhibition is spread throughout the museum’s gallery spaces, courtyards and gardens.
The gallery's first room focuses on Opie’s depictions of people in everyday life in his signature, reductive style, observed from real life in Sydney, Boston and London. Alongside a site-specific work across one wall of the space featuring seven static figures are a group of cuboid forms, around which groups of running people are either set into the shapes or presented in relief through abstract areas of colour. Room two features ‘cut-out’ sculptures in auto paint on aluminium of individual animals which include Opie’s own cat and the deer and birds seen daily around his London home and studio. The sense of movement among these works as the viewer moves between them is enhanced by a continuous LED screen animation, above eye level and traversing the perimeter of this room, across which a group of minimalist pigeons walk and bob their heads. These animations extend into the gardens, where individual birds pace along the grass and other human figures seem to stand among the trees.
The final room features 18 metre-tall nylon panels imprinted with Opie’s designs of Portuguese bell towers, their distinct architecture distilled into Opie’s signature, reductive style. Encouraged to move between the panels, as Opie says, “like a tourist might do”, the panels themselves slowly twist, altering the landscape of the room, and are accompanied by recordings of the bell from the Jerónimos Monastery, which sits across the square from the Museum.
Find further information via the Museu Coleção Berardo’s website.
Images courtesy Museu Coleção Berardo. Photography by Rita Carmo.