Winter 42 is a print from Julian Opie’s large-scale series Winter from 2012 that is made up of 75 prints laminated to glass, showing 75 sequential steps on a circular walk taken by the artist through the French countryside. Each print shows a beautiful, rural landscape on a harsh winter’s day but when considered alongside one another these images appear like an animated film. Depicted in various shades of green, brown and grey, this series of prints delicately toes the line between reality and representation.
Combining the vernacular of everyday life with the canonical styles and traditions of art history, this print presents a twenty-first century version of the classic art historical genre of landscape painting. Winter 42 represents Opie’s desire to utilise new techniques through his use of computer technology, saturated colour and simplified form. In this series Opie draws under and over digital photographs he takes from nature, to create multi-layered images with great depth that are extremely pleasing to the eye.
Opie’s Winter series is directly inspired by his film Winter (2012) that blends a diverse range of influences from Google Maps Street View to 17th Century Dutch landscape painting. As with many of his other works, Opie’s Winter series examines the nature representation itself by juxtaposing modern techniques with traditional art historical sources and subject matter.