Julian Opie

Primo Piano

This was Julian Opie’s first exhibition in Rome, and he showed one simple and yet complex piece that was made specifically for the occasion. Two columns were positioned asymmetrically, facing each other in the small gallery space. Slightly elevated above the floor (the bases weren’t visible), they rose up, almost touching the ceiling. Thus their presence acted as a geometric element of measurement of the space into which they were installed. This means that, in some way, Opie respected the basic function of the column, which symbolizes a thrust upward and at the same time usually supports a weight. Here the column did not function as a support, but the work nonetheless evoked this function visually and psychologically.

For Opie to exhibit an element like the column in Rome an element so architecturally defined—also signifies that he is connected to that territory of classicism and to that

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