Monday, August 15, 2005

Artist of the Week 08/15/05

Anyone who's been reading this feature regularly may have noticed I tend not to write about abstract work as much as I do representational work. That's because writing about abstract work is hard. Seriously, it's a task best left to poets, which I most definitely am not. It requires a mastery of metaphor, not to mention a keen vision (in both senses). So forgive me if I insist that rather than judging by my paltry poetics, in this case you really have to see this work for yourself in person.

Julie Evans' abstract paintings are influenced by her three extended tours of India (the last one on a Fulbright Fellowship). Her latest series was exhibited at Metaphor Gallery in Brooklyn, and she currently has work in a group show at LMAN Gallery in Los Angeles. Artforum has a short review of that show in their online Critics' Picks right now.

Julie Evans, Jaipur Painting #1, Gouache and bindis on paper, 12" x 11"

The first thing I think of when I recall Julie's studio are the seemingly impossible colors. In her work and on her paint table are hot saturated reds and oranges and impossibly cool greens and blues, pigments she brought back from Jaipur and then mixed with gouache for a highly matte, often thrillingly saturated palette. These bold colors are tempered with the most delicate of gestures, soft ornately decorated circles and blobs (mandalas, I guess I should say) float in and around each other, squeezing through this geometric passageway, popping out of that one. To me they suggest mystical landscapes, but I think they're more just collages of Julie's impressions of the symphony of sights, scents, and emotions found throughout India's ancient cities and villages.

For her exhibition at Metaphor, Julie also exhibited a few pieces she collaborated on with the renowned Indian miniaturist Ajay Sharma, who embellished a few of Julie's finished paintings with exquisite flourishes. Julie also incorporated bindis into a new series, referencing, as her gallery put it "colorful clothing and bangles of Indian women, devotional garlands, and the cosmic diagrams of Tantric art." Here's one of the Bindi pieces:

Julie Evans, Jaipur Painting #2, Gouache and bindis on paper, 12" x 11"

Talking with Julie after one of her trips to India is to mentally go there yourself. She's such a keen observer of detail and enthusiastic study of the culture and history of Indian art (not to mention the treasury of jewel-like minatures she brings back with her [one of which I'm now the proud owner...thanks Jules]). I wish I were poet enough to do her work justice. You'll just have to content yourselves with a few more images:

Julie Evans, Pahari Landscape, Acrylic and gouache on board, 11" x 14"

Julie Evans, Bindi Dharma #2, Gouache and bindis on paper, 8" x 8"


Anonymous crionna said...

Wonderful work, so very, I don't know, textile, maybe. Her work looks like the finest silk.

8/15/2005 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...


I find myself drifting into rhythms I didn't know I knew, so hypnotic are her compositions.

8/15/2005 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous bambino said...

I just love her work and herself. Great work, great personality, everything is great.

8/15/2005 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Alexa Brett said...

I love her work, the colors she uses, the compositions! Wow I am impressed! It is mesmerizing! I am an artist, too. I also tend to paint and collage ethnic looking art. I enjoyed reading your article about her. Thank You!

10/23/2005 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger Ravi said...

Wonder Colors. Great Observation. Superb. Ravichandran

11/03/2007 04:11:00 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I'm an Indian artist based in Mumbai. I'd like to say that Julie's work is what the West likes to see of India. The Indian aesthetic is very complex and not easily understood by the West, which interprets it in its own idiom, which is understandable. Tantra itself is a wide subject and practice and takes years of mastery....I'd say the West has just taken to its surface and will eventually go deeper into it. Just for a lark, here's some of my own work based on the Tantric philosophy:
Pop Mandala:

4/18/2010 04:49:00 AM  

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