julian opie exhibition SCAI the bathhouse, tokyo october 16th to november 14th, 2009

‘antonia with yellow shawl’, 2008 ink jet on canvas with ebonized pear wood frame 120 x 83.9 cm

julian opie began painting portraits over a decade ago, his first subjects being those who were close to him – friends and family – and later commissions from art collectors and others. his style simplifies his subject’s characteristics with a neutral almost emotionless facial expression, in which he has created a series of portraits that evoke a sense of real existence of his subjects which have now become his most-known pieces.

taking his portraits a step further he developed a new genre, ‘moving portraits’ along with his ‘people’ series which depict the same figures seen in his portraits but using simply fabricated faces, arranged in various acts of walking, dancing or posing. more recently, he has begun exploring the vocabulary found in 17th and 18th century english and dutch portraits, combined with new positions of his subjects against different landscapes.

in this, opie’s third solo exhibition at SCAI, the focus will be on these new portraits along with paintings and video works featuring images of walking women.

julian opie at SCAI the bathhouse, tokyo ‘ika in a red dress’, 2009 computer film -52" LCD screen – PC 125.5 x 75 x 12.5 cm edition of 4

julian opie at SCAI the bathhouse, tokyo ‘tina walking 4’, 2009 vinyl on wooden stretcher 222 x 110.1 cm