Julian Opie’s landscapes are illustrations of real-life locations, integrated into his works as moving or still elements. The reduction of the form is based in the abstraction of the 20 th century, which he subjects to even greater changes with the help of computer technology. This approach can also be linked to the tradition of Japanese colour woodcuts from the first half of the 19 th century, which have the same silhouette-like features found in Opie’s works. In his exhibition at the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna in 2008, for example, Opie presented his animation Eight Views of Japan, which was reminiscent of landscape woodblock prints by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) whose works are part of the Collection of the British Museum and have influenced Opie’s approach to this field. Opie in fact travelled through the Japanese countryside to find inspiration for his works in which he has often integrated the commonly reproduced motif of Mount Fuji.
The current exhibition at the Krobath Gallery features Opie’s latest landscapes as stills or animations, which allude to the barely perceivable changes in a landscape. Here, the flatness of the environment reflects the green meadows stretching for kilometres and the serpentine grey roads, generating the sense of emptiness that can be felt in such environments. The animated landscapes are hooked in endless loops, intensifying the feeling of monotony. In detailed takes, Opie examines computer-animated trees moving in subtle motion sequences on LCD screens. The portrait format of these works – entitled Apple Tree , Evening Sun and Shooting Star – symbolises the connection to the illustrated landscape, and the varying hues of sky blue contrast with the green fields in the landscape format paintings. The works also display elements of 19 th century landscape painting, which examine the immediacy of nature-related notions of the idyllic, depicting nature in its pristine form, untouched by human hand. Moreover, Opie’s landscapes are influenced by the work of Dutch painter Jacob Isaakszoon van Ruisdael, one of the most influential 17 th Century landscape painters from Haarlem. His work relates especially to woodland scenes and the meticulous rendering of tree details, which is also found in Opie’s work. Hence, Opie draws on such art history traditions, yet deconstructs them using his trademark computer-aided style and scrutinises their very essence. Current tools like Google Maps and Google Earth as well as built-in computer games help to stimulate the creation of environments that synthesise painterly tradition with current forms of digital visualisation. Slow-motion helps to make the works oscillate between still and moving images, which often creates a trompe-l’oeil effect that triggers a more thorough look at the works. Being calm and contemplative, these works may be said to convey the feelings of the beholder when viewing the landscape.
Walter Seidl (English translation: Mandana Taban)
Biography: lives and works in London, 1958 born in London, UK, 1979-82 Goldsmith’s School of Art, London Selected Solo Exhibitions: 2013 Krobath Wien 2012 "Past and Present of British Contemporary Art. Julian Opie and Patrick Caulfield", Ilju & Seonhwa Foundation Seoul, Süd-Korea, Lisson Gallery, London 2011 Krobath Berlin, Lisson Gallery Milano, Italien, Galerie Bob van Orsouw, Zürich, National Portrait Gallery, London City Public Art Space, London 2010 Institut Valencia d’Art Moderne IVAM, Valencia, Spanien Instanbul Modern, Türkei 2009 National Theatre, Tschechien, "Dancing in Kivik", Kivik Art Center, Kristianstads, Schweden, 2008 "This is Shahnoza in 3 Parts", Alan Cristea Gallery, London MAK – Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst / Gegenwartskunst, Wien, Österreich, Lisson Gallery, London, Galerie Krobath Wimmer, Wien 2007 "Walk on the Vltava", Museum Kampa, Prag, San Diego Museum of Art, USA, "Julian Opie in the 90's", King's Lynn art centre, Norfolk, 2006 Alan Cristea Gallery, London, 2005/06 ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, 2005 Scai the Bathhouse, Tokyo, 2004/05 "Animals, Buildings, Cars and People", Public Art Fund, City Hall Park, New York, Galerie Krobath Wimmer, Wien, MCA Chicago, "Sara, Brian & Monique", Lisson Gallery, London (exh cat) Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm (exh cat), 2003 Neues Museum, Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design Nürnberg, Nürnberg K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Alan Cristea Gallery, London Selected Group Exhibitions: 2012 "Der Blick, das Wort, die Geste" ("The look, the word, the gesture" - works from the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein Collection), RLB Kunstbrücke Innsbruck, Österreich "Schau mir in die Aug...", Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein "Spotlights Video Art", Essl Museum Wien, 2011 "Die Kunst der Entschleunigung", Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg "Small, Medium, Large", Donjon, De Vez, Vez, Frankreich "Highrise: Idea and Reality" Museum für Gestaltung, Zürich "Art & Stars & Cars", Mercedes-Benz, Stuttgart, "Fetisch Auto. Ich fahre, also bin ich." Museum Tinguely, Basel, DLA Piper Series: This is Sculpture, Tate Liverpool, "21st Century: Art in the first Decade", Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Australia "Modern British Sculpture", Royal Academy, London "Print Retrospective", Alan Cristea Gallery, London "Journey of a Dress: Diane von Furstenburg", The Pace Gallery, Bejing, China, 2010 "Eleven", Alan Cristea Gallery, London, "Fast Forward: British Contemporary Art in Brazil". Brazilian British Centre Galleries, Pinheiros, Brazil "What is Beautiful", Deutsches Hygiene- Museum Dresden Shanghai Expo 2010 "The Rhythm of Istanbul", Akbank Sanat, Istanbul, Türkei "Cream - Works from the YBA Generation", KIASMA - Contemporary Art Museum, Helsinki, Finnland "Present Tense: An imagined grammar of portraiture in the digital age", National Portrait Gallery Canberra, Australien "Bilder über Bilder. Diskursive Malerei", MUMOK, Wien "Julian & Suzanne walking", Permanente Installation, Phoenix Art Museum Arizona, USA, 2009 "AUTO. DREAM AND MATTER", Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Mostoles "Wham– Painting and Beyond", Den Frie Centre of CA, Kopenhagen, Dänemark The Fields Sculpture Park, Ghent, NY, USA DLA Piper Series: This is Sculpture, Tate, Liverpool Museu Nacional de Bellas Artes, Spanien "Boule to Braid", Lisson Gallery, London "Lisson presents 2", Lisson Gallery, London "Transparency", National Theater, Prag, Tschechien "Musac; Huesped: Coleccion MUSAC en el MNBA", Museo de ARte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon, Spanien "Mi Vida. From Heaven to Hell", Mcsarnok, Budapest, Ungarn "Citygarden", Saint Louis, USA "Sehnsucht nach dem Abbild – Das Portrait im Wandel der Zeit", Kunsthalle Krems, Österreich "Between Metaphor an Object", Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 2008 "Still / Motion: Licquid Crystal Painting", Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan, "The prospect 27", Roche Court Sculpture Park, Salisbury, UK "Regard_ Camera", Le Centre d’art contemporain de la ferme du buisson, Marne-la-Vallée, Frankreich, "Art is for the spirit: Works from the UBS art collection", Mori Art Museum, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, Tokyo "Still / Motion: Licquid Crystal Painting", National Museum of Art Osaka "Still / Motion: Licquid Crystal Painting", Mie Prefecture Museum, Mie-ken, Japan, "Works on paper", The Park Avenue Armory, New York City "No Leftovers", Kunsthalle Bern, Schweiz "There is Desire Left (Knock, Knock)" - 40 Jahre Bildende Kunst aus der Sammlung Mondstudio, Kunstmuseum Bern "Pop Art", Kunstkabinett Regensburg, "autoreverse", Galerie Bob von Orsouw, Zürich, 2007 "The Secret Public: The Last Days of the British Underground 1978 - 1988", ICA. London "Existencias", Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla Y Leon, Spanien "Animated Painting", San Diego Museum of Art, USA "Sign Language", Des Moines Art Center, Iowa, USA
"I use light as a material to work the medium of perception, basically the work really has no object because perception is the object. And there is no image because I am not interested in associative thought."
- James Turrell
PIPPY HOULDSWORTH GALLERY, London presents RUTH CLAXTON - Specular Spectacular
7 June - 6 July 2013
Specular Spectacular is a complex maze that occupies the 'centre stage' of the gallery.
Interconnecting structures hold mirrors that both become part of and reflect the installation itself.
Worlds within worlds are housed here, and inhabited by found figurines that are themselves swallowed up by amorphous reflective masks.
Icelandic nature is prominent in Eliasson's work, and his artistic relationship with it often involves collection or documentation that is scientific in tone. The country becomes a sensory laboratory where ideas can be developed and evolved into art, as evidenced in the multiple photographic series that would seem to witness a near compulsive need for collecting.