'Making It' was constructed at the Tate Gallery during the exhibition 'Making Sculpture' in July 1983. Julian Opie made larger than life models of tools and planks using sheet steel on which he drew chalk outlines. The components were assembled from pen sketches, three of which form this collection. The sketch in red biro (TGA 847/1) shows the original idea, and even a substitute head instead of planks of wood. The sketches in black (TGA 847/2-3), show a more complete form, although there are differences in the arrangement of the tools in the finished work. The components are bent into shape and welded together, enabling the artist to arrange them in precarious positions. As a result the tools appear to be in the process of carrying out their normal function. They are also painted with oils, making use of the sheet metal as if it were a canvas. To emphasize this point, 'Making It', and much of Opie's other work, is not painted on the reverse.
Studies and sketches for 'Making It' (T03783) by Julian Opie
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Julian Opie was born in 1959. He attended Goldsmith's, and when he left in 1982, was picked up by the Lisson Gallery where he held his first one-man show in 1983. He exhibited internationally during the 1980s and had a retrospective at the Hayward Gallery in 1993. Opie refused to be short listed for the Turner Prize in 1997. In 2000 he designed the cover for the Britpop band Blur's 'best of' album. He lives in Shoreditch, London.
Conditions Governing Access
Open. Access to all registered researchers
Other Finding Aids
Paper list available