Julian Opie

Escaped Animals

About this artwork

Julian Opie’s work explores our everyday urban environment. He simplifies his subjects to reduce them to their essence and make them into recognisable symbols. Opie began using animals in his work in 1997, inspired by the simple shapes of a set of toy farm animals. Although these signs resemble road signs, they do not direct us anywhere or warn us of anything. In 2002 National Galleries of Scotland was one of several galleries presented with signs to mark the opening of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, as a means of symbolically ‘pointing the way’ to the BALTIC. Opie took the outline shapes of thirteen animals and placed them inside a rectangle, circle or triangle. The four signs owned by the Gallery show a fox, goose, squirrel and sheep and can be found in the grounds of Modern Two.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    Julian OpieEnglish (born 1958)
  • title:
    Escaped Animals
  • date created:
    2002
  • materials:
    Vinyl, aluminium and steel
  • measurements:
    62.50 cm (squirrel diameter); 126.20 cm (sheep diameter); 78.90 x 145.70 cm (fox rectangle); 100.70 x 74.00 cm (goose rectangle); 78.70 cm (base diameter)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Commissioned and presented by BALTIC, Gateshead, to mark their opening 2002
  • accession number:
    GMA 4478
  • gallery:
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Julian Opie

Julian Opie