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Photo of Julian Opie

Julian Opie

An influential figure in the British arts scene and an icon of the New British Sculpture movement

Main details

Year graduated 1982
Department Art
Programme BA (Hons) Fine Art

Julian Opie graduated from Goldsmiths in 1982 and his first solo show opened at the Lisson Gallery the same year, as he was quickly recognised as part of “the first coherent group of British artists to have an international reputation, rather than one within the London art scene.” Subsequently, his work was bought by collector Charles Saatchi as well as Tate

Opie’s creative practice is famous for its combined elements of graphic portraiture and computer design. His work has been exhibited internationally in prestigious institutions (MoMA, New York; Art Tower Mito, Japan; MAK, Vienna; to name a few) and can been seen in the UK at the British Museum, the V&A and the National Portrait Gallery

However, Opie is perhaps more renowned for utilising public spaces for installations and altering our perception of what constitutes an artistic environment. Some examples include his Best of Blur CD sleeve, the LED display for a U2 world tour, and various installations in Heathrow’s Terminal 1 and at the Eurostar Terminal. In 2008, five animated LED installations of large figures ‘walking’ appeared in City Centre in Dublin, and later Opie’s ‘Promenade’ was installed in downtown Calgary, Canada where it is now a permanent feature.

Opie lives and works in East London and continues to work closely with Lisson Gallery.

Image: Julian with t-shirt © Julian Opie

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