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Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, the restored former ‘country’ residence of Sir John Soane which reopened in 2019 following a major conservation project, is thrilled to announce the acquisition of Julian Opie’s LED sculpture, Curly Hair, 2021, marking Pitzhanger’s first five years open to the public. The artwork now has a permanent home in the Manor’s front garden where it can be enjoyed for free, signaling Pitzhanger’s programme of contemporary exhibitions, as well as its growing art collection.

The acquisition of Curly Hair was made possible through the generosity of the artist, Julian Opie, as well as invaluable support from a diverse group of contributors, including Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, Art Fund, McGrath Charitable Trust, Lisson Gallery and members of the public and local community, who were galvanised to secure the artwork as an important local landmark.

The artwork was first shown at Pitzhanger in 2021 as part of Julian Opie’s solo exhibition, coinciding with the reopening of the gallery post-COVID lockdown. Curly Hair, a dynamic, double sided LED display standing over two meters tall, which portrays a figure confidently striding forward towards Pitzhanger Manor, has already proven popular with passersby of all ages.

Just as Sir John Soane used Pitzhanger to display his collection of classical art and sculpture alongside contemporary works by leading artists of his day such as JMW Turner and William Hogarth, so Curly Hair is testament to the ongoing dialogue between contemporary and historical art at Pitzhanger today.

“We are truly delighted to be able to retain Curly Hair at Pitzhanger for the future enjoyment of all the public — an artwork with remarkable abilities to break down the traditional barriers that visitors to museums and heritage spaces can experience. Its repeat presence will enrich the Ealing community and continue to inspire children and young people.”

Clare Gough, Director of Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery

“I’m so glad and proud that the work will stay at this fantastic museum and perfect site. He seems very happy there.”

Julian Opie

Curly Hair is now a permanent beacon for Ealing and West London, free for all to see and enjoy. It will illuminate Pitzhanger and Ealing Green, a vibrant walking figure among the local crowds and an invitation to enter and explore all Pitzhanger has to offer.

Join us from 5pm on 16 May 2024 at Pitzhanger, to celebrate the acquisition of this vivid artwork.



16 May 2024
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Pitzhanger’s 5th Anniversary: Celebrating Julian Opie Acquisition

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Ealing Green, London
W5 5EQ
Reception: 020 3985 8888
Venue Hire: 020 3994 0966
Office: 020 3994 0967

Wednesday - Sunday: 10:00 - 17:00
First Thursday of the month: 10:00 - 20:00
Monday - Tuesday: Closed
Bank Holidays: 10:00 - 17:00

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