Mumbai, 6th August 2015: Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in collaboration with the British Council presents Winter., a series of works by well-known UK artist Julian Opie. The exhibition is on view at the Museum from 6th August 2015 till 13th September 2015. The exhibition is in line with the British Council’s Reimagine Arts initiative that was launched in 2013 to build new cultural avenues between the people, and cultural institutions, of the UK and India.
Winter. by Julian Opie centres around a sequence of seventy-five prints that represent a circular walk taken by the artist through the French countryside on a harsh but beautiful day. The prints absorb an eclectic range of influences, from 17th century Dutch landscape painting to street view on Google Maps, and are at the forefront of Opie’s continued investigation into the experience of landscape. Opie captures each stage on the walk in a single digital print, coloured in a palette resembling army camouflage. The works are then laminated to a glass façade and presented in a grid format on the walls.
Kumar Iyer, British Deputy High Commissioner said, ‘UK and India own great talent in the field of art and culture and I am pleased to be part of the preview opening of Winter. by Julian Opie in Mumbai. The arts and culture are an important part India-UK relationship and I hope the new government in UK will look at strengthening it further through creative collaboration.’
Chris Brandwood, Director English, British Council India said, ‘It brings us immense pleasure and delight to collaborate with Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum to showcase Julian Opie’s Winter. series in Mumbai. The exhibition displays a form of art which is fresh and captivating to the eye and also a step forward in building cultural connections between the UK and India through artistic exchange. The UK has a new government which will look for ways to strengthen its relationship with India. The arts and culture are an important part of that relationship and the British Council will continue to work with partners to support this.’
An avid thinker, Julian Opie takes the physical world as the starting point for his artistic practice, be it nature or human beings, which he first captures through an innovative drawing process using a camera and computer technology as his tools. The installation of these works creates a surrounding panorama that combines the rural landscape with slick architectural surfaces immersing the viewer in the essence of the artists’ vision.
Julian Opie said on his art work, ‘It was very exciting when the British Council decided to buy the Winter. series. They have always been very supportive and I’m particularly happy to keep such a large part of this series intact as a group and to have the chance to exhibit them together in the gallery in Mumbai. My first big project with the Council was the Indian Triennial in 1997 - an important exhibition for me - so it’s particularly pleasing to collaborate again in India and show this intimate project in Delhi and beyond. I am so happy that Winter. will be travelling to various parts of the country over the coming months. I have been lucky enough to exhibit widely in India and, over the years, my family and I have fallen in love with India - the landscape, the historic art and architecture, the people, the weather, the food. This project depicts a cold, quiet Northern European landscape, which I imagine, will contrast strongly with the coming venues. I hope the contrast will be refreshing.’
This collection is an inspiration from a stroll through a bleak winter landscape in France. With 75 images in all, the viewer feels engrossed and cocooned in that French landscape.
Exhibition dates: 6th August to 13th September 2015 (Closed on Wednesdays)
Exhibition timings: 10am to 6pm
About the artist
Julian Opie is a renowned British artist born in 1958. He is one of the leading figures in contemporary art, for over three decades has pushed the boundaries of portraiture, painting, and sculpture, seeking to break down what he believes to be illogical barriers between the disciplines. Portraits and animated walking figures, rendered with minimal detail in black line drawing, are hallmarks of his style. He has developed an instantly recognisable and unique formal language through digital manipulation, reducing images to simplified forms of line and colour. Julian Opie graduated from Goldsmith’s School of Art, London in 1982 where he studied under the British artist Michael Craig-Martin. He has gone on to show extensively around the world, with solo exhibitions including National Portrait Gallery, London (2011), IVAM, Valencia, Spain (2010), MAK, Vienna (2008), CAC Malaga, Spain (2006), Neues Museum, Nuremburg, Germany (2003), Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2001), Kunstverein Hannover, Germany (1994) and Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1985).
About The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum was established in 1872 as the erstwhile Victoria and Albert Museum, Bombay. As Mumbai’s first Museum, it showcases the city’s cultural heritage and history through a rare collection of Fine and Decorative Arts that highlight Early Modern Art practices as well as the craftsmanship of various communities of the Bombay Presidency. The permanent collection includes miniature clay models, dioramas, maps, lithographs, photographs, and rare books that document the life of the people of Mumbai and the history of the city from the late eighteenth to early-twentieth centuries.
The Museum, once in a derelict condition, underwent a comprehensive five-year restoration by INTACH supported by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation. The project won UNESCO’s international Award of Excellence for cultural conservation in 2005. The Museum re-opened in 2008 with an extensive exhibition programme and is committed to promoting contemporary art and culture. The Museum hosts an extensive exhibitions programme which explores the importance of the collection and includes a strong focus on contemporary art. A series of curated exhibitions titled, ‘Engaging Traditions,’ invites artists to respond to the Museum’s collection, history and archives, addressing issues that speak directly to the traditions and issues that underlie the founding of the Museum, yet evoke the present by challenging orthodoxies and questioning assumptions.
The Museum has partnered with international institutions to showcase artists and exhibitions including the Victoria and Albert Museum, British Council, British Library, Dresden State Art Collections, Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, ErmenegildoZegna Group and Guild of the Dome Association in an effort to facilitate international cultural exchange.
The Museum’s education and outreach programme aims to build and diversify the Museum’s audiences, encouraging repeat visits and engaged participation with its permanent collections, contemporary exhibitions and activities. On offer is a rich selection of programmes focused on providing stimulating, participatory experiences that respond to different age, interest and language groups, and recognize a diversity of backgrounds. These experiences are aimed at encouraging critical engagement with Mumbai’s history, and artistic and cultural developments.
In December of 2012, the Museum introduced a dynamic cultural hub, the Museum Plaza, which offers the public a recreational space for performances, outdoor activities, and workshops. The Museum has restored and reappropriated abandoned spaces to accommodate a Special Projects Space, Museum Cafe, Museum Shop and an Education Centre.
For details visit www.bdlmuseum.org
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.
For more than 70 years the British Council has been collecting works of art, craft and design to promote abroad the achievements of the UKs best artists, craft practitioners and designers abroad. The Collection — which began in the late 1930s, with a modest group of works on paper — has now grown to a collection of more than 8500 artworks, from paintings and prints, to drawings, photography, multi-media and installations. The Collection has no permanent gallery and has been referred to as a 'Museum Without Walls'.
The British Council was established in India in 1948. The British Council is recognised across India for its network of 9 libraries and cultural centres. We offer a range of specialised projects in arts, education, exams, English language and society to audiences across India and more than 100,000 members. We also provide access to English language training and learning for both students and teachers, offer UK qualifications in India and enable opportunities to study in the UK.
For information on our work in India, please visit www.britishcouncil.in
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Aparna Ramachandran, Curatorial Associate, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum at 022 23731234 or on email@example.com