The installation of Julian Opie’s high-rise building sculptures on the first floor of Ikon Gallery in 2001 coincided with 9/11. The modernist aesthetic they embody and their smart neatness as models is now informed by memories of a day that dramatically changed the world. The ‘less is more’ efficiency they suggest, symbolic of a society that functions in an orderly way, can no longer be seen with innocence. A number of these architectural pieces now rise up in Ikon’s Tower Room.
Ikon Icons sees the return to Ikon of five key British artists from an exhibition programme that has extended over five decades – including John Salt, Ian Emes, Cornelia Parker, Yinka Shonibare and Julian Opie. A presentation of work by each takes place, consecutively, throughout 2014 in Ikon’s Tower Room.
The series is a major component of Ikon 50, the programme of exhibition and events celebrating Ikon’s 50th anniversary.