The Power Plant presents a major solo exhibition of work by New York-based artist Julia Dault, curated by Julia Paoli
The Power Plant presents a major solo exhibition by New York–based artist Julia Dault. Contextualizing new projects through a selection of past works, the exhibitionColor Me Badd reveals the importance to Dault of balancing spontaneous gesture with responsiveness to rules, logic and the constraints of materials. Physical negotiations are central to Dault’s textured paintings and improvised sculptures; both are exhibited in Color Me Badd.
Dault’s rule-based painting process involves responding to mass-produced elements—vinyl, patterned silks, pleather, unmixed paint straight from the tube—with unconventional tools, such as squeegees and rubber combs. These tools create quasi-standardized gestures that allow Dault to skirt the line between expressive abstraction and cool, machine-like facture. Erasure, with its ability to allow viewers to “see into” the painting process, is as important as application.
The idea of the artwork as an index of the artist’s labor recurs in Dault’s sculptures. Always improvising on site and working alone, the artist manipulates and coerces Plexiglas, Formica, and other industrially produced materials into imposing curved forms, and then affixes them to the gallery wall using straps and cords. Dault’s efforts can be understood as “private performances” in which her physical capabilities are juxtaposed with the properties of the materials she employs. Each sculpture is titled with a time stamp that reflects the duration it took to complete the piece. In this gesture, as with her paintings, she hopes to underline the temporal nature of the art-making process.
Dault’s work fuses the emphasis on process found in both Abstract Expressionist painting and post-Minimal sculpture. She is interested in “embodied knowledge”—how making is thinking—by reinserting the artist’s hand into a minimal aesthetic primarily interpreted as distanced and industrial.
Julia Dault (born Toronto, 1977) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received her MFA in Fine Arts from Parsons The New School for Design, New York, and studied Art History at McGill University, Montréal. Dault has exhibited extensively across the globe, including solo exhibitions at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York (2014), China Art Objects, Los Angeles (2014), Galerie Bob van Orsouw, Zurich (2013), Jessica Bradley Gallery, Toronto (2013), White Cube Bermondsey, London (2012), and Blackston Gallery, New York (2010). She has also participated in numerous group shows, including exhibitions at Pérez Art Museum, Miami (2013), Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2013), Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2013), Maison Particulière, Brussels (2013), lumber room, Portland (2013), New Museum, New York (2012), Galería Casado Santapau, Madrid (2012), and Harris Lieberman, New York (2012). Her work is in the collection of several public institutions, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; Saatchi Gallery, London; and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.