The Gallery Staff 5

The Gallery Staff 5
Signed Print

Julian Opie

Screenprint, 2010
Signed Print Edition of 20
H 58cm x W 94cm

Critical Review

Throughout The Gallery Staff series Opie uses a set of motifs to vary the poses of each figure in the compositions. The motifs used in each print are two chairs, a rose and a book. Each character is dressed in formal wear and interacts with these objects in a different way as the series progresses.

The Gallery Staff 5 explicitly engages with the 19th century art historical tradition of silhouette portraiture, led by artist Auguste Edouart, whereby the new middle classes would commission family group or individual portraits to record a moment in time. Opie has a strong interest in noticing silhouettes everywhere and has said of the genre, “It is one of the most common forms of drawing around, certainly in that period from late 18th to early 20th century. It’s so common it has become boring, and it’s kind of boring anyway in the sense that it does not stray much from reality.”