The simplicity and clean lines of Julian Opie’s works gives them a universal appeal. His paintings and sculptures can be found in major museums and public venues around the world. His work looks just at home in London, where he was born, as it does in Indianapolis, where a campaign is going on to save one of his sculptures.
Keeping Ann Dancing in Indianapolis
The Indianapolis Cultural Trail was design more than ten years ago as an urban trail…not a trail to escape the city, but a trail that encourages people to explore the city. When the trail opened in 2008, Julian Opie’s Ann Dancing sculpture was the first piece of art to be installed on the trail. It sits at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Alabama Street and Vermont Street.
Ann Dancing was supposed to be a temporary installation, but its popularity was so great that the city kept it.
The sculpture itself is made up of four panels. Each panel contains an Led-light display of a woman dancing. Each panel is over six feet tall and three feet wide. The entire sculpture rests on a red brick base, which houses the computer and components that make Ann dance.
The computer and wiring have been given temporary fixes over the years, but it needs more than that to keep Ann Dancing. “We’ve done our best to keep her dancing,” Indianapolis Cultural Trail Executive Director Kären Haley said. “There’s a lot of electrical tape, there’s a lot of wires. There’s a lot of work that has gone into keeping her dancing for as long as we have.”
The Indianapolis Cultural Trail has begun a campaign to raise $262,800 by June 29. The money will go toward purchasing new display units designed for 24-hour use and for long-term maintenance.
Breaking it Down
Julian Opie has the unique ability to break things down into their most basic elements. He has been greatly influenced by 17th and 18th-century English and Dutch portraits, and 19th-century Japanese woodblock prints.
Because his style is so primal, it is relatable to people everywhere. His work is currently on exhibit at such diverse venues as the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Wuzhen Contemporary Art Museum in China, the Gerhardsen Gerner Gallery in Oslo, Norway, the Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg, Germany, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Poland, the Elena Project in Seoul, South Korea, the Lisson Gallery in New York, the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK and the Fosun Foundation in Shanghai, China.
Walking in Melbourne Series at VFA
Opie starts with photographs and digitally reduces them to their basic forms. Walking in Melbourne, available at VFA, is a series that Opie did after photographing people walking through the streets of Melbourne, Australia, although they could be people walking almost anywhere on the planet.
Please contact us if you would like more information about the Walking in Melbourne series or any of the other works by Julian Opie available at VFA.
Stuart Jeffries. Julian Opie: ‘I’m not sure what art is’ The Guardian. June 12, 2011.
Susan Irvine. Julian Opie: sounds original. The Telegraph. October 4, 2008.
Domenica Bongiovanni. ‘Ann Dancing’ on Mass Ave.: Nonprofit raises money to fix sculpture. IndyStar. May 31, 2019.