Wall at WAM: Julian Opie

Julian Opie, Study for Wall at WAM, 2001, inkjet on paper, 17 x 67 feet. Courtesy of the artist, Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston and Lisson Gallery, London.

Through March, 2004

In British artist Julian Opie's world, the whole of life can be reproduced and purchased. People, pets, buildings, and landscapes are realized in a characteristically simplified linear style and using elementary shapes. Images are produced in a range of sizes and formats to fit the needs of any consumer or setting—large images on vinyl, small photos on board, highway signs, inkjet wallpaper, window stickers, and even CD-ROMs. Although rendered through the technology of the computer, Opie's world is in effect a meditation on the complex play between nature and artifice, sign and reality observed and experienced in the world itself. The apparently generic portrait faces, for example, are neither exchangeable nor arbitrary but represent the individual features and minds of people Opie knows.
In the next installation of Worcester Art Museum's mural project, the Wall at WAM, Opie responds to the dramatic scale of the Renaissance Court and its unique juxtaposition of the ancient and contemporary worlds.
The image will be fabricated in Opie's London studio and sent to Worcester for installation at the Museum. Julian Opie is represented by Barbara Krakow Gallery in Boston and Lisson Gallery in London.
Supported by the Don and Mary Melville Contemporary Art Fund.
The media sponsor is Worcester Magazine.