British artist Julian Opie will from this Friday, 9 November, be showing more than 60 of his instantly recognisable works in the NGV- being an artist renowned for his bold and pared back style – in the artist’s first major Australian exhibition.

Including works like a shoal of virtual carp swimming in the NGV’s waterwall to a towering metropolis in Federation Court, Opie has created the largest ever work presented in Federation Court: a city of skyscrapers that stretch all the way up to the glass ceiling. Created 13 metres high at its tallest point, the work creates an immersive metropolis where visitors can reflect on the urban environment.

Along with this cityscape, will be stone sheep grazing, crows pecking and a horse galloping in the Grollo Equiset Garden; a re-imagining of the famed Belgian fountain Manneken Pis in the NGV moat; and, in a series of figurative sculptures, a crowd of people walking are caught mid-stride in the foyer spaces.

Drawn straight from the streets of Melbourne, a selection of Opie’s recent walking figures of Melburnians will also be on display, offering visitors a unique opportunity to see their community rendered by the artist in his signature aesthetic. The exhibition will also survey more than forty of the artist’s animated and moving image works, from 1993 to the present.

“Since graduating from art school in the early 1980's, Opie burst onto the London art scene and developed a minimalist approach to painting, sculpture and film that recalls the endless human motion captured in Roman and Egyptian friezes, as well as Eadweard Muybridge’s famous photographic sequences,” NGV Director, Tony Ellwood says.

The artist will also have an interactive exhibition for families, Julian Opie: Studio for Kids, featuring hands-on and digital activities for children of all ages. With a strong focus on Opie’s interests in drawing, portraiture and observation, young visitors will learn new techniques and processes to create their own portraits and experiment with abstract images.

Giving a unique way of seeing Melbourne, find out more Julian Opie’s exhibition here.


Dates: 9 November 2018 – 17 February 2019

Location: NGV International (180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne)

Cost: Free

NGV International Website