This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
The arts Right: Jean–Marc Nattier,


Portrait of an unknown lady, oil on canvas “Nattier is one of the most perfect chocolate box types of pre-Revolution French painters. I like her doll-like appearance; her dashing clothes and posture make her seem like a vision in an airy


space. To me Nattier’s pictures are perfect and an epitome of a certain, doomed moment. Unlike the English paintings of the time, the background is not dark brown.”


After the heated frenzy of having found and caught the work there is a following sense of calm. I quietly look forwards to having it on view with anticipation, a treat to look forward to. “I was dubious about making this


exhibition. There are some dangers that I fear in comparing your work to work that you admire, especially from the past where a sense of judgement and quality control has settled. Group shows are often a very refreshing way to see your own work though it can pull you up short, but in this case everyone is kind of in the same boat. “The old has become part of the


world, part of us, we are made of it, whereas the new has to go through that process for better or worse. That said I have found it, so far, surprisingly exciting to put this show together. I have used the works of my own that I have kept back as one resource and the works from the walls of my home and studio as another. I have drawn the exhibition out as a plan and tried to make sense and variation and connections within the possibilities of the architecture and context. What is different is to do this with other people’s work and to treat my own work as a historical resource rather than show the latest things I have made, as I usually do. BL


Julian Opie: Collected Works, an artist and his collection runs from 21 May – 14 September at the Holburne Museum. 01225 388569; www.holburne.org


“The old has become part of the world, part of us, we are made of it”


22 Bath Life www.mediaclash.co.uk


Below: Julian Opie, Marina in purple shawl, continuous computer animation


“There are times when I seem to want to simplify things to the bare minimum and others where delving into the thickest detail seems to be the answer. To sink Marina’s face right back into the dark background it was necessary to draw her in rich detail. I often wondered why so many paintings from the 17th and 18th century are so dark. It allows the figure to look out of the depicted space and perhaps in pre- electric times it helped the figures to seem more present in the surrounding space of the viewer.”


Below: Julian Opie, Reed 1, paint on resin


“I often stumble across new techniques and new ways of drawing, whereas I set about trying to make fully three- dimensional heads in a very self-conscious way. I wanted to move away from the very two-dimensional sculpture that I was making and try to capture some of the qualities that I was seeing in Roman stone portraiture. These heads are 40 per cent larger than life size, a scale usually reserved for emperors.”


Above: Julian Opie, Peeing boy, gold-leafed black granite and double-sided LED “At the entrance to a corporate headquarters you might see a stainless steel and marble and LED sign and it reminds me of a gilt, sculpted, baroque altarpiece. Both attempt to dazzle and impress using every trick in the book. The effect on the eye and brain of the different, conflicting languages is confusing and intriguing.”


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100