Viewing Room

Larger - Than - Life

Opera Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition featuring over 20 big, bold and beautiful sculptures by 13 modern and contemporary artists from across the world. This immersive online show, with “larger-than-life” artworks presented outdoors as well as indoors, would have been impossible to stage in reality, as none of our 13 exhibition spaces could accommodate so many large pieces at the same time.
Whether to inspire awe or push the technical limits of their medium, sculptors have long worked on a larger-than-life, even monumental scale. Monumental art has always caught the attention of the human eye, it alters or emphasizes the viewer’s perception of space and proportion. Furthermore, large volumes often contribute to convey strong messages, that the artists are thus able to express fully: the imposing and majestic proportions of monumental sculptures give a sense of power, evoke admiration and wonder and never cease to amaze.

Keith Haring

Untitled (Head Stand)
Painted steel
701 x 302 x 302 cm
276 x 119 x 119 in

Constantly looking at the world around him for inspiration, Keith Haring found great interest in capturing the living forms of contemporary dancers: break dance and electric boogie culture taking hold of America’s youth in the late twentieth century. In Untitled (Head Stand), Haring presents two figures in a ‘totem pole’ sequence where the man balancing on top relies on the strength and stability of his counterpart below. The vibrant colours and the typical cartoon-like style contribute to the jovial and naive sensibility of this work.
Robert Indiana’s archetypal stacked LOVE  composition, with its bold serif lettering of VE stacked beneath the L and tilted O, is one of the most ubiquitous works of art of the century.

"Some people like to paint trees. I like to paint love. I find it more meaningful than painting trees."
Robert Indiana

Robert Indiana

Love (Gold faces - Red sides)
Polychrome aluminium
182 x 182 x 91 cm
72 x 72 x 36 in

Niki de Saint Phalle

La machine à rêver
Fiberglass and painted polyester
280 x 346 x 120 cm
110.2 x 136.2 x 47.2 in

La machine à rêver associates the ‘character’ of Saint Phalle’s legendary Nana figure with the fractured composition of a riding/cycling vehicle. The blind body enjoys the simulated mechanisms of a dream-cycle as she is pulled on the back of a wheeled machine. With this sculpture, Niki de Saint Phalle departs from the single-figure Nana and begins to explore the greater and bolder dimensions of the oversize goddess set in oversized furnishings.
Demonstrating the unique pictorial language that Jean Dubuffet pioneered in his seminal L’Hourloupe series, Tea cup I is a monumental personification of a simple daily ritual, where the humble cup of afternoon tea has been elevated to heroic proportions.

Jean Dubuffet

Tea cup I
polyurethane paint on polyester resin
197 x 127 x 10 cm
77.8 x 50 x 4 in

"Sculptures permit me to create real volume. One can touch the forms, one can give them smoothness, the sensuality that one wants."
Fernando Botero

Fernando Botero

Woman on a Horse
183 x 102 x 112 cm
72 x 40.2 x 44.1 in

Fernando Botero

Man with Cane
240 x 120 x 67 cm
94.5 x 47.2 x 26.7 in

Manolo Valdés

305 x 294 x 150 cm
120.1 x 116 x 59.1 in

"We build upon that which art history has placed in our hands"
Manolo Valdés

Manolo Valdés

Painted steel and steel wires
540 x 1100 x 660 cm
212.6 x 433.1 x 259.8 in

Walking through Central Park a few years ago, Manolo Valdés saw a woman sunbathing, with monarch butterflies swirling around his head. That image - along with an exhibition of tropical butterflies at the American Museum of Natural History and a Spanish expression describing people with a lot of ideas as having butterflies in their heads kindled something in the artist.“ All of a sudden, they were everywhere,” Valdés said of the butterflies in an interview with The New York Times. “That’s how ideas start. You never know when one is going to pop in.”
Manolo Valdés captures Las Meninas by Velázquez, details them, diverts them and multiplies them. He explains: “What amuses me the most is to repeat the same image while transforming it. A single creation is not enough to tell everything. As with photography, several shots are needed to tell a story”.

Manolo Valdés

Reina Mariana
180 x 120 x 135 cm
70.9 x 47.2 x 53.1 in

Manolo Valdés

La Pamela
385 x 680 x 680 cm
151.6 x 267.7 x 267.7 in

Valdés comments on the juxtaposition between the static faces of his sculptures and their dynamic headdresses, stating, “I must admit that I adore the pronounced tension that is established between the two parts; it’s as if they were two entirely different sculptures. And the challenge is having them function as a harmonious whole, as well as allowing their initial different formulation to be seen not as something separate but as something enriching.”

Amedeo Modigliani

tête de Cariatide

227 x 75 x 85 cm
89.4 x 29.5 x 33.5 in

Pablo Atchugarry

Esprit de Paris
Statuary Carrara marble
221 x 43 x 27 cm
87 x 16.9 x 10.6 in

"When I started to work as an artist, I realised very quickly that I had no other choice but to become a sculptor. The first time I visited Carrara, it was like finding true love. I felt that Michelangelo had been there and left something there for other sculptors to follow in his footsteps. Every time I go to Carrara, I have the same feeling: that the mountain is somehow entrusting its children to me."
Pablo Atchugarry

Marc Quinn

The Archaeology of Desire
White painted bronze
232 x 295 x 100 cm
91.3 x 116.1 x 39.4 in

Marc Quinn

Myth Fortuna
235 x 230 x 270 cm
92.5 x 90.6 x 106.3 in

"The yoga-like pose, reminiscent of an Indian sculpture of Shiva, is in a contemporary scene about trying to affect spirit through the body. It also seems to symbolise that Kate’s Moss image is sculpted by society’s collective desire, contorted by outside influences. She is the reflection of ourselves, a knotted Venus for our age, a mirror, a mystery, a sphinx."
Marc Quinn

Bernar Venet

83.5° ARC X 10
Cor-ten steel
197 x 108 x 70 cm
77.6 x 42.5 x 27.6 in

Bernar Venet’s sculptures are named after their mathematical compositions, referencing only the degree of the angle or curve that determines the work’s form and the number of elements in the composition, demonstrating the artist’s theoretical and formal investigations of order and disorder, and the determinate and indeterminate.
"I like to create the internal structure of things – the human figure is an organic form, but has many geometries: our organs, bone structure, cells and molecules. Then I like to vary this structure till it has an emotional effect on me."
Tony Cragg

Tony Cragg

Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Pair of bronze sculptures
300 x 135 x 150 cm
118.1 x 53.1 x 59.1 in

Tony Cragg

Chain of events
Wood on metal base
290 x 105 x 105 cm
114.2 x 41.3 x 41.3 in

Frank Stella

Estoril #XII, 4.75X (2nd version)
Oil stick, urethane enamel, alkyd and Magna on etched magnesium
283 x 323 x 43 cm
111.4 x 127.2 x 16.9 in

Frank Stella’s Estoril XII, from Circuits, 1982 is part of the artist's acclaimed series inspired by race tracks from around the world. This particular example takes the forms of the Estoril circuit, the auto-racing track in Portugal as Stella's subject matter.  From an aerial perspective, Stella captures the fluidity and directional flow of the circuit, a mixture of angular and organic lines. 

Frank Stella

Does the Whale Diminish?
oil, oil stick and enamel on aluminum construction
203 x 365 x 91 cm
80 x 144 x 36 in

"Yes, but Moby Dick was for me, much more. It’s not fair to Melville, but it was an around-the-world adventure story about struggling with larger-than-life forces."
Frank Stella

Anthony James

80" Icosahedron
Stainless Steel, specialised glass, LED lighting
203 x 203 x 203 cm
(80 x 80 x 80 in)

"I try to make a visual description of the infinity, the cosmos or the divinity inside oneself."  
Anthony James