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Escaped Animals
© Julian Opie; courtesy Lisson Gallery

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Escaped Animals 2002

On Display Modern Two

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 the Modern Two was one of several galleries presented with signs to mark the opening of the BALTIC art gallery 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 the Modern Two.


  • Acc. No. GMA 4478
  • Medium Vinyl, aluminium and steel
  • Size Squirrel: 62.50 cm (diameter); Sheep: 126.20 cm (diameter); Fox: 78.90 x 145.70 cm (rectangle); Goose: 100.70 x 74.00 cm (rectangle); All: 78.70 cm (pole diameter)
  • Credit Commissioned and presented by BALTIC, Gateshead, to mark their opening 2002