In her newest paintings, Julia Katz continues her exploration of the body in movement. These new works locate the viewer outdoors, in a natural environment, allowing Katz the opportunity to push her gestural, painterly use of the brushstroke to create space and atmosphere through a sophisticated use of color.
Says Katz of her work:
In 2006, I began working with a theme of the figure in motion. My interest in that theme has evolved over time, shifting toward the interaction of a moving figure with its environment and continuing to grow to include other concepts of motion and energy, such as biological or psychological energies, or enormous impersonal energies of our natural world. In this series of paintings, my goal was to subtly incorporate similar concerns into paintings of figures at the beach.
My son lives near Santa Monica Beach in California and whenever I go to visit him and walk on that beach I am struck by the feeling that I am walking into a painting. The beach setting has visual elements as well as sensory and energetic qualities that I like to bring to my work. It is a vast natural space in which people move freely. It is lit by the sun and conditions are constantly changing with the wind blowing and clouds moving quickly, affecting the light and temperature. The ocean is a huge force of movement and sound. The scope of nature at the beach is broad. The space that I paint is a 'beach scene', but is also an abstraction of ideas that I bring to the painting. These ideas include my imagination of physical forces; memories of experience and sensation; and formal pictorial elements used to create a sense of movement, depth, or drama within the painting.