The Hortensia Herrero Foundation are delighted to bring the work of celebrated British artist Julian Opie (London, 1958) to Valencia starting next May 27. It will do so through a temporary exhibition of monumental sculptures that will be located in the heart of the city. Specifically, in the Plaza del Colegio del Patriarca and in the La Nau Cultural Centre of the University of Valencia.
Following a two-year hiatus since the exhibition of Jaume Plensa in the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, the Hortensia Herrero Foundation will bring a presentation of new and existing works by Julian Opie to the Plaza del Colegio del Patriarca, in the cloister and the nearby University of Valencia’s La Nau exhibition rooms, transforming them through animation on LED screens, light box paintings and monumental sculpture. These works, some of which will have their debut in Valencia, focus on the human figure as it strides through the city, alone or in a crowd; strolling, running to catch a train, or waiting in the square with folded arms.
Opie writes: “Early Greek and Egyptian statues were often built as striding figures. The implied movement gives a dynamic and grace to the figure, a sense of purpose, independence and power. A standing posed figure seems to be responding to you the viewer but a walking figure is oblivious and therefore you can look at them without confrontation. Scale is a strange thing, we read scale in relation to ourselves, elephants are big and ants are small but it can easily become inverted, solar systems can look like ping pong balls and the insides of computers like Asian cities. We have the ability to project and see from outside ourselves.”
The exhibition, which has the collaboration of the Valencia City Council and the University of Valencia, through the Vice-Rector’s Office for Culture and Sports, will open on May 27, 2021 and can be seen until September 2021.
“Bringing Julian Opie’s work to the city of Valencia is a source of pride because he is, without doubt, one of the best known artists on the international scene. It is a very exciting project that will help to further increase the cultural appeal of the city. In addition, within the current context, we want to do our bit to reactivate cultural activity – to keep it going”, explained Hortensia Herrero, the promoter of this exhibition through the foundation that bears her name.
Julian Opie was born in 1958 in London and graduated in 1983 from Goldsmiths School of Art. He lives and works in London.
With public commissions from Seoul to New York, Luxembourg to Zurich and a steady flow of large museum exhibitions internationally, the work of Julian Opie is known throughout the world. Opie’s distinctive formal language is instantly recognisable and reflects his artistic preoccupation with the idea of representation, and the means by which images are perceived and understood.
Major museum exhibitions include Kunstverein, Cologne; Hayward Gallery and ICA in London; K21, Dusseldorf; MAK, Vienna; Mito Tower, Japan, CAC, Malaga; IVAM, Valencia; MoCAK, Krakow; Tidehalle, Helsinki, Fosun Foundation, Shanghai, Suwon IPark Museum of Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and Berardo Museum, Lisbon.
Public art collections holding Opie’s works include, Tate, British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Arts Council, British Council and National Portrait Gallery in London; MoMA, New York; ICA, Boston USA; Essl Collection, Vienna; The Israel Museum in Jerusalem and Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Japan.
The Hortensia Herrero Foundation and cultural patronage
In recent years, the outstanding cultural patronage undertaken by the Hortensia Herrero Foundation has been instrumental in protecting and promoting the historical and artistic heritage of the Valencian Community, with the refurbishment of the church of San Nicolás and the Colegio del Arte Mayor de la Seda its two most significant actions. Its next major project will be the restoration of the church of Santos Juanes in Valencia.
In the artistic field, the Hortensia Herrero Foundation has brought three temporary exhibitions to Valencia (Manolo Valdés, Tony Cragg and Jaume Plensa) and it is immersed in the refurbishment of the Palacio de Valeriola, which will house the future Hortensia Herrero Art Centre that is scheduled to open at the beginning of 2023.