Details
JULIAN OPIE (B. 1958)
New York Couples.
the complete set of eight screenprints in colors with inkjet and collage, on Canson conservation cotton board, 2019, each signed in black felt-tip pen, numbered 7/55 (there were also five artist's proofs) on a label affixed to the reverse of the backboard, published by Alan Cristea Gallery, London, each with full margins, in very good condition, each in the original sprayed white wood frame specified by the artist
Each Image: 44 x 3012 in. (1117 x 774 mm.)
Each Sheet: 4814 x 3478 in. (1225 x 885 mm.)
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Lot Essay

Julian Opie’s portraits of the body in motion are snapshots of contemporary life illustrated in simplified graphic silhouettes. Opie’s bold black outlines take inspiration from Japanese woodblock prints, hieroglyphics, and universal symbols such as traffic signs. Each couple is pared down to essential forms and identifying symbols that generate just enough detail for the viewer to fill in the rest of the picture.
In describing his use of photography, Opie has noted the importance of capturing the precise moment of movement: “I need people to be in a certain moment in their stride, a moment that is balanced with their knees bent and their weight on one foot…I’ll draw all the people who are drawable and then I’ll play with them and mix and match them into groups.”
Although each pair of figures is in close proximity, their body language and varied trajectories create a sense of independence from one another. The overall effect evokes the particular feeling of being a part of a crowd while remaining absorbed within your own world, an experience collectively understood by anyone who has travelled through a busy city like New York.

Including: New York Couple 1.; New York Couple 2.; New York Couple 3.; New York Couple 4.; New York Couple 5.; New York Couple 6.; New York Couple 7.; New York Couple 8.

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