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Relief print, 2020
Signed Print Edition of 20
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
Magpie is a signed relief print made by the critically acclaimed British artist Julian Opie in 2020. The print comes in an edition size of 20 and shows a magpie standing side-on and staring out to the right of the composition. The magpie is rendered in blue and white and set against a bright and vibrant yellow backdrop.
Magpie captures the essence of Opie’s visual style which is marked by his minimalist approach to drawing and use of bold colours. Opie often uses thick lines to produce simplified forms that are immediately recognisable. The artist often fills these forms with blocks of solid, flat colour, as is seen in Magpie. Opie’s artistic style can be seen as a homage to both Minimalism and Pop Art and the use of colour in Magpie resonates strongly with many of Andy Warhol's Pop Art prints.
This print is one of five pieces in Opie’s Small Birds collection. The collection depicts a variety of birds including a pigeon, gull, hen and duck. The collection was made to accompany Opie's impressive public art installation, Australian Birds, which the artist revealed in December 2020. The installation involved Opie arranging a series of continuous computer animated birds along a grass strip between two lanes of traffic in Melbourne, Australia. Opie consciously chose an area in the centre of the city so the artworks would stand out against the urban surroundings and remind the public of the diverse wildlife native to the area.