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Change is about experimentation

March 28th, 2007

The Henry Moore Sculpture Centre showing the Julian Opie Wallworks installation titled This is Shahnoza, 2006 vinyl

Courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery, London

© 2006 Julian Opie

If one does not test boundaries, then they become invisible. The Henry Moore Sculpture Centre had not changed since 1974, the year that it was opened. This installation was undertaken by a younger British artist whose work is about capturing a Pop art essence of our own contemporary moment. Yes, pole dancing exists in our world in 2007, and yes 6th graders are aware of it. Julian Opie has a daughter himself, and as an artist he is endeavoring to make links between these often remote, seemingly disconnected realms: that of Henry Moore’s sculpture and of contemporary representation of the body. Transformation AGO affords us an opportunity to think experimentally and to explore boundaries in a creative forum.

David A. Moos, AGO Curator, Contemporary Art, responds to a 6th grade teacher’s reaction to the Julian Opie Wallworks installation.

  • Ernest Somers

    David A. Moos cooments that if one does not test boundaries, then they become invisible. The example given the British Pop artist’s pole dancers and and Henry Moore’s sculptures is, in my opinion, not a very good example of the testing and pushing of boundaries. All that the British artist has done is to make a record of a modern day form of entertainment. The work of the British artist isn’t even unique, wrought iron garden decorations at best. Moore’s works were not only unique to the individual , but for that period of human history. There are no boundaries to be tested here. Bad example!

  • Ernest Somers

    David A. Moos cooments that if one does not test boundaries, then they become invisible. The example given the British Pop artist’s pole dancers and and Henry Moore’s sculptures is, in my opinion, not a very good example of the testing and pushing of boundaries. All that the British artist has done is to make a record of a modern day form of entertainment. The work of the British artist isn’t even unique, wrought iron garden decorations at best. Moore’s works were not only unique to the individual , but for that period of human history. There are no boundaries to be tested here. Bad example!

  • Ian Rubenzahl

    This juxtaposition of Henry Moore and Julian Opie certainly seems to inspire a new and perhaps critical look at both artists.

    Check out Kelvin Browne’s article in the National Post from last August titled “Drawings tease Moore sculptures”. Kelvin says that “I’ve been looking at the Henry Moore sculptures at the Art Gallery of Ontario for years, but now know I haven’t been seeing them for a long time. This revelation came when British artist Julian Opie’s pole dancers, a.k.a. strippers, arrived in the Moore gallery and compelled me to open my eyes.

    The drawings are not to everyone’s taste. This is a good thing. They incite the usual polite outrage that provocative art exhibitions muster and prove a basic observation many have about Toronto: We’re a bit complacent. If we choose between great art that makes you question its validity and pretty pictures, pretty wins. Similarly, a good conventional building is preferred to the exotic and unique. Our taste in most things embraces the underwhelming.”

    From Drawings tease Moore sculptures/National Post August 24, 2006 – http://tinyurl.com/27zylr

  • Ian Rubenzahl

    This juxtaposition of Henry Moore and Julian Opie certainly seems to inspire a new and perhaps critical look at both artists.

    Check out Kelvin Browne’s article in the National Post from last August titled “Drawings tease Moore sculptures”. Kelvin says that “I’ve been looking at the Henry Moore sculptures at the Art Gallery of Ontario for years, but now know I haven’t been seeing them for a long time. This revelation came when British artist Julian Opie’s pole dancers, a.k.a. strippers, arrived in the Moore gallery and compelled me to open my eyes.

    The drawings are not to everyone’s taste. This is a good thing. They incite the usual polite outrage that provocative art exhibitions muster and prove a basic observation many have about Toronto: We’re a bit complacent. If we choose between great art that makes you question its validity and pretty pictures, pretty wins. Similarly, a good conventional building is preferred to the exotic and unique. Our taste in most things embraces the underwhelming.”

    From Drawings tease Moore sculptures/National Post August 24, 2006 – http://tinyurl.com/27zylr

  • http://lougold.blogspot.com/ Lou Gold

    Hello,

    I just discovered your gallery as I’ve been doing some Internet research on Henry Moore who is my favorite sculptor. Indeed, I made a blog post about him only yesterday. Here is the link:
    http://lougold.blogspot.com/2007/05/henry-moore-re-visionary-artist-ive.html

    Best regards,

    Lou Gold

  • http://lougold.blogspot.com/ Lou Gold

    Hello,

    I just discovered your gallery as I’ve been doing some Internet research on Henry Moore who is my favorite sculptor. Indeed, I made a blog post about him only yesterday. Here is the link:
    http://lougold.blogspot.com/2007/05/henry-moore-re-visionary-artist-ive.html

    Best regards,

    Lou Gold

  • Mike Galea

    This is the sad thing about the art world today…anything can be rationalized into art provided the artist is educated. It seems that this is testimony proving that art is no longer about talent or insight and has completed it transformation into blatent self-promotion through shock value. Truly TRANSFORMATION AGO!

  • Mike Galea

    This is the sad thing about the art world today…anything can be rationalized into art provided the artist is educated. It seems that this is testimony proving that art is no longer about talent or insight and has completed it transformation into blatent self-promotion through shock value. Truly TRANSFORMATION AGO!

  • Mary Allen

    I couldn’t agree more with Ernest Somers. Rather than push the boundaries, Julian Opie’s figures loom large as pedestrian examples of graphic forms from the 70s. Rather than shocking, they appear simply tawdry and unfortunately interfere with the viewer’s experience of the Moore sculpture. For shame….

  • Mary Allen

    I couldn’t agree more with Ernest Somers. Rather than push the boundaries, Julian Opie’s figures loom large as pedestrian examples of graphic forms from the 70s. Rather than shocking, they appear simply tawdry and unfortunately interfere with the viewer’s experience of the Moore sculpture. For shame….

  • Jim Talt

    The Opie additions appear as a shallow 2D parody of Moore’s great accomplishments. Somehow the curator(s) convinced themselves they were clever and themselves creative. Their sad attempt deserves no further comment.

  • Jim Talt

    The Opie additions appear as a shallow 2D parody of Moore’s great accomplishments. Somehow the curator(s) convinced themselves they were clever and themselves creative. Their sad attempt deserves no further comment.