Modern & Contemporary Auction

Modern & Contemporary Auction

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 3. Walking in London in the rain .

Julian Opie

Walking in London in the rain

Lot Closed

June 14, 12:02 PM GMT


150,000 - 200,000 CHF

Lot Details


Julian Opie

b. 1958

Walking in London in the rain

Vinyl on wooden stretcher

Signed on the overlap

228.8 x 344.7 cm (unframed)

Executed in 2013

Gerhardsen Gerner, Berlin and Oslo

Acquired from the above by the present owner

Among the most iconic works by Julian Opie, Walking in London in the rain is part of a series of full-length portraits of people walking about town. Instantly recognizable, Opie’s outlines of silhouettes are rendered with strong fields of flat colours and simple, minimal vocabulary inspired by diverse influences including classical portraiture, ancient Egyptian art, Japanese Manga, public traffic signs and public signage. Preoccupied with the idea of representation and the way we perceive the world, the British artist uses both cutting-edge and ancient techniques to explore the everyday life.

Although depicted faceless, each figure of this monumental composition is differentiated by a great variety of movements and clothes that attest to the artist’s attention to detail and fascination for the environment surrounding him. As the artist explains: “There is a beauty and energy in a striding figure. Each person wrapped in their own purpose, dressed in their own way, combining with strangers to create a constantly changing, random dance.”

Rushing by under multicoloured umbrellas to avoid the rain, the crowd depicted in this work adopt a multitude of body shapes and ways of walking: a young man drags his feet while consulting his phone, a businessman walks briskly in a dark suit, a woman returns from shopping at Tesco...

Both depersonalized and directly linked to our contemporary lives, Walking in London in the rain invites the viewer to immerse himself in a vibrant street landscape and to create his own imaginative journey.