New York, 178 Norfolk Street
Attributing skin-like quality to her canvases, Julia Rommel emphasizes the tactility of paintings as articles blanketed by multifarious aesthetics and discourses. Rommel strips external narratives off her paintings, delving into the physicality of the canvas. Initially putting a layer of gesso and paint onto her canvas that she stretched on a wooden frame, Brooklyn-based artist later removes the canvas from its support to re-stretch it back in an alternative position.
Traces caused by this initial process add the canvas marks akin to wrinkles on a skin, while the imperfectly textured paint adds an outer coat. Repeating the process multiple times, the artist, who had her first solo museum exhibition at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut in 2015, thus examines the basics of oil paintings.
Process in Rommel’s case substitutes for traditional rituals of painting onto a canvas, while her approach to her material as an element bears distinctive visual forms complicating conventional narratives. Through experiment with paint and surface, the artist deconstructs fixated formal and ritualistic foundations of painting. Therefore, Rommel challenges the essentials of art making as well as the art market, exposing her audience to various stages of painting. “Whenever I approach what looks like an existing modernist painting, I know I have to change something,” says Rommel in an interview with Art in America, “I try to mess up the painting to prevent a fixed reading that reflects an established tradition.”
November 6 — December 18,2016