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Mixed Media, 2020
Signed Mixed Media Edition of 20
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
Australian Wood Duck is a signed mixed media artwork made by British artist Julian Opie in 2020. Coming in an edition size of 20, the artwork shows an Australian Wood Duck rendered in yellow with a thick blue outline. The duck is set against a bright green backdrop. Opie’s visual style is simple and understated. The duck’s body lacks detail which draws attention to the animal’s form and the shape of its body.
Australian Wood Duck is one of five artworks in Opie’s Small Birds collection. Each artwork depicts a different bird, with the other prints showing a pigeon, gull, hen and magpie. The production of this collection accompanied Opie’s largest LED based public artwork to date which the artist made for the National Gallery Victoria Triennial. Australian Birds was a series of continuous computer animated birds that Opie situated on a grass strip between two lanes of traffic in central Melbourne, Australia.
As well as birds, Opie has taken artistic inspiration from a range of other animals such as sheep, fish and horses. The artist’s works are immediately recognisable due to the way in which Opie depicts simplified forms using thick lines filled with a solid, flat colour. Opie’s style is influenced by Minimalism and Pop Art and artists like Andy Warhol clearly had a significant impact on the development of Opie’s visual language.