Reception: Saturday, September 14 from 6pm to 8pm
We are distressed by the daily cycle of hateful and self-serving rhetoric. It skews us into unfulfilling reactions. We are out-of-whack. We fight to avoid turning off. Though ill-at-ease, there is hope of something blooming from our better nature. In a small and special part of our society a growing number of artists are speaking of redress and solace. In their work we can find the energy to turn back on. It is at this moment, within these circumstances, that the gallery presents the fourth Julie Wolfe exhibition. To quote the artist, “After the election some dark things became more apparent. My awareness has been heightened. Along with many others, I am concerned about the social and cultural impact of this sort of spiritual crisis, about the lack of truth. Through my work I am finding ways to cope and be hopeful. The upcoming show is a response. The show contains works from three series. There is the confrontational character of the ‘Under Their Gaze, We Become Creatures’ series. In the landscapes from the ‘Venus: Site Specific’ series there is an otherworldliness. And in the ‘Magnitude of Equality’ paintings the gravity defying effects of the color and gray scale studies speak of the power of diversity and equality.”
The artist describes her show as a response to current events, but none of the works in Under Their Gaze, We Become Creatures are didactic. Each piece carefully provokes thoughts of potential catastrophe, present dangers, or feelings of dislocation. Yet the show is colorful, hopeful. We experience a sense of generosity in the artist’s viewpoint. “I hope you find something to respond to, something to contemplate, to remember, something that opens up in you.” Great artworks are machines of perpetual motion. They move us from tradition, responding in the present, pushing us towards the future. The artist reminds us that art is always connected to society.
The limited edition folio, Dream Sequel Series: Under Their Gaze, We Become Creatures, is published in conjunction with the exhibition.
Julie Wolfe (American, born 1963) is a visual and conceptual artist living and working in Washington, DC. Her work is exhibited and collected internationally and has been featured in ARTnews, BBC America and Hyperallergic. She has published numerous limited edition artist books and folios, and has held residencies at AGA Lab, the Netherlands, and Mass MOCA. Wolfe received a BFA in Painting and Art History from The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
- Tuesday–Saturday, 10am–5pm
- and by appointment
HEMPHILL is located at 1515 14th Street NW. For more information, visit www.hemphillfinearts.com.