Current Venue

Julian Opie after Van Dyck

National Portrait Gallery, London
6 October 2017 - 7 January 2018
Free, Room 7

This display shows Sir Anthony van Dyck’s Self-portrait of c.1640 in the context of new work by Julian Opie, one of Britain’s foremost contemporary artists. Works influenced by Van Dyck and artists of the period are displayed in dialogue with Van Dyck’s self-portrait in the midst of the seventeenth-century galleries.

Opie’s portraits use a variety of styles and techniques, echoing the contemporary world of urban signs, advertising and animation. Through bold outlines and blocks of colour, he conveys the subject’s distinctive likeness and raises questions about the nature of portraiture. Opie’s work references historical portraiture, and has often used compositional devices employed by seventeenthcentury artists. The portraits in this display are a testament to Van Dyck’s lasting legacy in Britain.