Sculpture 21st: Julian Opie

Duration: 5 June to 15 September 2019

As part of its series “Sculpture 21st,” the Lehmbruck Museum is presenting the famous Walking Figures of British artist Julian Opie in its impressive glass hall. They correspond with the luminous LED sculpture Sam, Amelia, Jeremy, Teresa. in the museum’s forecourt which is presented as a world premiere in Duisburg. The constant, fluid movement of the “Runners”, their tireless walk around a square pedestal is hypnotic, creating a moment of pause in our everyday routines.

High waist shorts and Daisy print, two of the seven larger-than-life metal statues exhibited in the glass hall are presented to the public for the first time in Duisburg. Their clear, simple forms, reminiscent of cartoon characters, can be caught by passers-by in a flash and leave a lasting impression in our memories. With the unparalleled precision of his lines and colouring, Opie draws our attention to the urban phenomena of our age and finds a memorable form to express their essence. Animated by individuality, his sculptures reveal signs of anonymity and haste – the typical symptoms of the big city. They play with the forms of urban society and at the same time hold up a mirror up to it.

Opie’s sculptures and installations are frequently found in public spaces, where they correspond with their surroundings and the people and establish connections. A similar effect is achieved by the ensemble that Opie designed for the Lehmbruck Museum: the Walking Figures’ have an effect that reaches out through the transparent facade of the glass hall into the public space of the surrounding park. Their stride across the glass hall is accelerated by the running movement of Amelia, Jeremy, Theresa, Sam.

The exhibition is the second presentation in the context of “Sculpture 21st” supported by the Stiftung Kunst, Kultur und Soziales der Sparda-Bank West.