Julian Opie

Escaped Animals (2002)

About this artwork

Julian Opie’s work explores our everyday urban environment. He simplifies his subjects to reduce them to their essence and make them into recognisable symbols. Opie began using animals in his work in 1997, inspired by the simple shapes of a set of toy farm animals. Although these signs resemble road signs, they do not direct us anywhere or warn us of anything. In 2002 the Dean Gallery was one of several galleries presented with signs to mark the opening of the BALTIC art gallery in Gateshead, as a means of symbolically ‘pointing the way’ to the BALTIC. Opie took the outline shapes of thirteen animals and placed them inside a rectangle, circle or triangle. The four signs owned by the Gallery show a fox, goose, squirrel and sheep and can be found in the grounds of the Dean Gallery.

  • title: Escaped Animals
  • accession number: GMA 4478
  • artist: Julian OpieEnglish (born 1958)
  • gallery: Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art Two(On Display)
  • object type: Sculpture
  • medium: Aluminium
  • date created: 2002
  • measurements: Squirrel: 62.50 cm (diameter); Sheep: 126.20 cm (diameter); Fox: 78.90 x 145.70 cm (rectangle); Goose: 100.70 x 74.00 cm (rectangle); All: 78.70 cm (pole diameter)
  • credit line: Commissioned and presented by BALTIC, Gateshead, to mark their opening 2002
  • copyright: © DACS 2016.

Julian Opie

Julian Opie

Opie was born in London and studied at Goldsmiths College, London from 1979 to 1982. His early work consisted of deceptively realistic, folded-steel sculptures, which explored the interaction between painting and sculpture. Opie's more recent work has involved simplified portraits and scenes. Using a computer, he reduces images to their component parts, leaving the minimal of detail required to retain the image's identity. Opie has been exhibiting internationally since the beginning of the 1980s and lives and works in London.