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"Walking in Milan" by Julian Opie

Portrait Milano is pleased to present the installation Walking in Milan by British artist Julian Opie, curated by Valentina Ciarallo.
Eight new monumental sculptures from the walking figures series, realized by the artist specifically for Portrait Milano, which, positioned on large bases, will stand in Piazza del Quadrilatero from July 3rd to August 27th, 2024. The imposing figures, captured in the act of walking, are characterized by a minimal aesthetic typical of Opie, highlighted by linear contours and contrasting colours.

“I have drawn a lot of walking people. It is the most natural and commonly seen form of human movement and also what makes us different from most other animals. An individual’s gait is particular and as revealing as your handwriting or voice. The human body makes sense while walking and has a grace and sense of dynamic purpose.” J. Opie

Inspired by the iconography of classical statuary in which the figure was placed on a pedestal as an expression of beauty and power, Julian Opie reinterprets the concept of ancient sculpture and expresses, through his walking figures, a new canon of self-representation.
The protagonists are common pedestrians, chosen from the street, and depict our habitual gestures while moving through a city. The walking figures reflect passersby who at the same time blend with each other, becoming new symbols of an everyday reality: they interact with the surrounding space and, as in the Ancient Agoras of the classical world, invite encounter, aggregation and sociality, animating the Piazza del Quadrilatero, which is once again transformed – with the arrival of Opie – into a large open-air museum.
This renews Portrait Milano’s commitment to cultivate an open, welcoming and inclusive destination, providing the city with a space to nurture and experience.

Julian Opie 

Julian Opie was born in 1958 in London, where he lives and works. A graduate of the Goldsmiths School of Art in 1983, he was a pupil of Michael Craig-Martin. Opie has exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally, with major exhibitions in museums and institutions such as: Kunstverein in Cologne, Hayward Gallery and ICA in London, Lehnbachhaus in Munich, K21 in Dusseldorf, MAK in Vienna, Mito Tower in Japan, CAC in Malaga and IVAM in Valencia, MoCAK in Krakow, Tidehalle in Helsinki and Fosun Foundation in Shanghai,  Suwon IPark Museum of Art in South Korea, National Gallery of Victoria in Australia, Berardo Museum in Portugal, PARCO Museum in Tokyo as well as exhibitions such as Dheli Triennale, Venice Biennale and Documenta.
Opie has presented numerous public projects in cities around the world, in particular: Dentsu Building in Tokyo (2002), City Hall Park in New York (2004), Mori Building, Omotesando Hill in Japan (2006), Vltava River in Prague (2007), Phoenix Art Museum USA (2007), Dublin City Gallery in Ireland (2008), Seoul Square in South Korea (2009),  Regent’s Place in London (2011), SMETS in Belgium (2011) Calgary, Canada (2012), The Lindo Wing, St Mary’s Hospital, London (2012) and more recently permanent installations at PKZ in Zurich, Arendt and Medernach in Luxembourg, Taipei, Taiwan and Tower 535, Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, Carnaby Street in London, Hyundai General Store in Seoul, Pacific Place in Hong Kong,  Melbourne in Australia and WTC in Lisbon.
Opie’s works are featured in many public art collections, including the Tate, British Museum, Victoria & Albert, Arts Council, British Council and National Portrait Gallery in London, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, ICA in Boston in USA, Essl Collection in Vienna, IVAM in Spain, Israel Museum in Jerusalem, National Gallery of Victoria in Australia,  MoCAK and Takamatsu City Museum of Art in Japan.


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