| Biographical information?
Julia Fish, b. 1950 (Toledo, OR) Lives and works in Chicago, IL
Statement: November 1995--"In this era of rapid electronic exchange, the essentially static painting continues to generate productive philosophical debate regarding its own viability. Within my work of the past ten years, I have utilzed critical methods to examine established fors of abstraction and representation in painting, and, through this work, have indentified the very limitations of the static image as the primary subject to be examined.
As an artist, I live and think through images; the activity of looking, of education myself by looking, has been given direction and purpose by my studio practice and, conversely, the activity of making has been profoundly shaped by the influence of other works of art. Crucial to this endeavor are the images which I have quite simply encountered in my immediate environment, which are the impetus for the paintins I make; from such tangible experience I am best able to engage the current debate regarding representation in all its forms, and also examein those questions of a timeless nature, fundamental to all enduring art.
From 1985-1991, my paintins were based on forces of nature, distilled as esential images. Grounded in my observation of the effects of weather and seasonal change, this work was reinforced by direct study of historical and contemporary work. For exampel, the paintings of the late 19th Century American landscape artists Martin Johnson Heade and John Kensett achieved the silence and arrested moment that I sought in my own work. The earlier Dutch painters Johannes Vermeer and Philips Koninck provided an important perspective in understanding Piet Mondrian's later achievements in abstraction; re-examination of the work of Rene Magritte and Marcel Duchamp increased by ability to apply the ideas of the minimalist and conceptual artist of the 1960's and 1970's, already familiar to me.
During the past four years my work has taken a new direction; my attention turned from single motifs lifted from an unframed experience of nature, to those instnace where nature collides with the surface of my immediate surroundings, providing images which are then slowed, held, fixed. In these works, the weight, substance and character, ther abstraction--of the pinting as an object itself. The success of each work is thus gauged by its ability to hold this negotiation between several aspects of abstraction and representation in a state of intense equilibrium. This work builds from precedents within the full history of painting, as well as from the expanding visual and theoretical language of contemporary art."--Julia Fish
Education: Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR and The Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, MD
Awards and Grants: 1993, National Endowment for the Arts, visual Artist Fellowship, Painting
1991, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award; 1986, National Endowment for the Arts & Arts Midwest Visual Artist Fellowship
Employment (teaching): 1995-present, Associate Professor, School of Art and Design, The University of Illinois at Chicago, 1989-1995, Assistant Professor, School of Art and Design, The University of Illinois at Chicago
In addition, Julia Fish has participated in many visiting artist programs, panel discussions,and other professional activities. A selected list of recent activities includes: Visiting Artist--1997, Normal Editons Workshop, Illinois State University, Normal, IL; 1995, University of Texas, Arlington, TX; 1993, Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, MI; 1993, California institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA; 1991, Carleton College, Northfield, MN; 1989 Herron School of Art, IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN; 1989, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; and 1986, Washington University, St. Louis, MO. Panel Discussion---, 1994, participant, "The M.F. A.: Bill of Rights/ Bill of Rites", College Art Association Annual Meeting, New York City, NY; 1992, Chair, "Nature Through Another Lens: The Role of Scientific Imagery in Contemporary Art", College Art Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL; 1991, Respondent, Lectures Series and panel discussion, "City Life and the Future Museum", The University of Illinois at Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL. Other professional activities--1993-95, Member, Project Advisory Panel, Near West Side Branch Library, Percent for Art Program, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Chicago, IL; Curator, "On condition, Painting Between Abstraction and Representation", Gallery 400, The University of Illinois, Chicago, IL.
Solo Exhibitions: Selected solo exhibitons include: 1996, "View--Julia Fish, Selected Paintings and Drawings, 1985-1995", The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL and The Madison Art Center, Madison, WI; 1996, "Drawings", Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; 1995, "Selected Drawings, 1990-1994", Illinois Art Gallery, Chicago, IL; 1995, Lipton-Owens Company, New York City, NY; 1995, 1993, Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; 1994, Feigen, Inc., Chicago, IL; 1992, Amy Lipton Gallery, New York City, NY; 1991, 1987, Robbin Lockett Gallery, Chicago, IL; and 1991, Herron Gallery, Indianapolis Center for contermporary Art, Indianapolis, IN
Exhibitions: Julia Fish's artwork has been exhibited internationally. A selected list of recent group exhibitons includes: 1996, "Mist/Julis Fish, Michelle Grabner, Carla Preiss, Kay Rosen", Hermetic Gallery, Milwaukee, WI; 1995, "Julia Fish/Thomas Nozkowski, Works on Paper", Revolution, A Gallery Project, Ferndale, MI; 1995, "Literally Abstract", Center for Research in Contemporary Art, Universtiy of Texas, Arlington, TX; 1994-1995, "Korrespondenzen, Correspondences", Berlinische Galerie, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany and the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL; 1994, "Art On the Map", The Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL; 1993, "Subject Matters: Jeanne Dunning, Julia Fish, Tom Friedman,", Kendal College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, MI; 1991, "New Acquisitions: The M.C.A. Collects", Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; 1991, "New Generations: Chicago, Carnegie-Mellon Art Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA; 1989, "Chicago Works: Art from the Windy City", Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA and Bruce Gallery, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA; 1988, "Julia Fish, Mary Heilmann, Julian Lethbridge" Robin Lockett Gallery, Chicago, IL; "Latitudes: Focus on Chicago", Aspen Art Museum, Aspen CO; "Good Painting: Contemporary Chicago Painters", State of Illinois Art Gallery, Chicago, IL; and 1987-88 "Choices: Twenty Painters from the Midwest", NEA/Arts Midwest Visual Artist Felowship Awards Exhibiton, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Charles Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, WI, and Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL.
Selected Public Collections: The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; The Museum of contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; The Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago, IL
Selected Bibliography: 1996, Artner, Alan. "Speaking for Herself," Chicago Tribune, January 21, Sec. 7:10; 1996, Wiens, Ann. "Julia Fish/The Renaissance Society", New Art Examiner, March:38; 1995, Artner, Alan. "Giant Steps" Chicago Tribune, February 2, Sec. 5:11; 1995, Pagel, David. Reviews: "Shifiting Canvas: Julia Fish," Los Angeles Times, March 16. Sec. F:5; 1994, Camper,Fred. "On the Brink of Abstraction," Chicago Reader, February 4, Sec. 1:22; 1994 Yood, James. "Julia Fish, Feigen, Inc.," Artforum, April:102
(biographical information last updated on September 28, 1997)