‘ed and marlanela. 9’, 2011, paint on aluminium 191.3 x 239.2 x 29 cm © julian opie; courtesy, lisson gallery, london

julian opie solo exhibition lisson gallery milan november 18th, 2011 – january 20th, 2012

lisson gallery milan presents a solo exhibition of recent work by british artist julian opie. his sensibility is greatly influenced by contemporary dance, classical portraiture, modern advertisement and sculpture help to form his body of work. opie’s approach is embodied in a variety of media as he reconstructs his impression of the human-urban interaction in two-dimensional, concise pictorial language. his work is comprised of images as flash encounters combined with sensory experiences. the flatness and monolithic quality of each image inviting the viewer to more readily reflect on the nature of their own three dimensional reality.

his collection includes pieces from his 2009 collaboration with the royal ballet of london choreographer wayne mcgreggor. this project influenced opie to continue working with trained ballet dancers. for example his piece ‘ed and marlanela. 9’ and ‘eric and sarah. 3.’ presents two pairs of dancers, mid performance, frozen in time and yet conversely full of movement. the relationship opie has with dancers and their capacity for movement is something that is especially prevalent in this exhibition. the plasticity of each rendering has a classical approach in the depiction of each dancer, paused in a moment of movement.

julian opie at lisson gallery, milan ‘eric and sarah.3.’, 2010, vinyl on wooden stretcher 271 x 147.3 cm © julian opie; courtesy, lisson gallery, london

these pieces which are more performative in nature, contrast the quiet and still intimacy of two portraits of opie’s wife, aniela. in ‘aniela at the spring’ is meant to echo italian artist botticelli’s ‘the birth of venus’, an inescapably classic motive reinforced by the inclusion of amphora. unlike the dancers and walking figure, these portraits of aniela are comparatively modest.

julian opie at lisson gallery, milan ‘aniela at the spring’, 2011, enamel on glass (corian base) 269 x 105 x 40 cm © julian opie; courtesy, lisson gallery, london