Engaging with the canonical styles of art history, Still Life With Apple, Orange And Grapes is a print from Julian Opie’s Still Life series from 2001. The print shows an image of a red apple, a bunch of green grapes and an orange in a closely cut composition, set against a black backdrop.
The backdrop of Still Life With Apple, Orange And Grapes is flattened and rendered without light or shadow, forming a highly graphic image in which the brightly coloured fruit are illuminated. This series is representative of Opie’s skill in striking a balance between graphic design and fine art in his bold use of simplified shapes, colour and tone.
Engaging with canonical styles of art history, Opie demonstrates his interest not in representing reality but how reality is represented to the viewer. Still Life With Apple, Orange And Grapes is also indicative of Opie’s claim that the artist and viewers of art will always be constrained by the principles and traditions of art history. Of this in relation to his work, Opie has said, “It was an acknowledgement of the hopeless position of the art student in light of art history, but also a rally call not to feel overwhelmed by it.”