Jessica Bradley Gallery is pleased to present Julia Dault’s first solo exhibition in Canada. Dault, a native of Toronto, lives in Brooklyn. A painter and sculptor, she employs an innovative array of materials in works that pay equal heed to process as to final form. The Ungovernables, last year’s triennial showcase of a new generation of artists at New York’s New Museum, brought wide critical acclaim for Dault’s work. In 2012 she also participated in the Ninth Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea and the Marrakech Biennale, Marrakech, Morocco, and presented a solo exhibition as part of the Inside the White Cube series at White Cube Bermondsey, London, UK.
Dault’s paintings and sculptures both demonstrate the interaction between her fluid gestures and the limitations of her industrially produced materials. To make her sculptures, Dault bends sheets of Plexiglas and Formica, among other materials, into unudulating, site-dependent forms that are secured with straps. Each sculpture is evidence of a private performance, demonstrating the exact meeting point of her physical capabilities and her materials’ inherent characteristics. The sculptures’ titles describe the total time, from start-to-finish, of the artist’s labour.
This reciprocity between physical gesture and material constraint also characterizes Dault’s paintings. Rather than work with brushes on canvas, Dault paints onto unconventional substrates—vinyl, costume pleather, spandex, printed silk—only to remove paint from these surfaces using an array of tools such as commercially available texturizing combs. The tools create quasi-standardized gestures that Dault employs across several layers; she often pulls paint from a monochrome layer to reveal the “found color” of the materials beneath, resulting in a new vocabulary of abstract mark-making. Dault’s works are imbued with her presence, but not in the emotional, heroic, and autobiographical manner typically associated with gestural abstraction. As with her sculptures, the tools and materials she uses help to reveal her process. Frank Stella famously said, “What you see is what you see.” Dault’s work in both painting and sculpture is an attempt to live up to that maxim without being reduced to chastening simplicity.
Julia Dault was born in Toronto in 1977. In 2012 she presented a solo exhibition as part of the series Inside the White Cube at White Cube Bermondsey, London, and participated in Roundtable, the Ninth Gwangju Biennale, and The Ungovernables, the second New Museum Triennial. Her work has been exhibited at the Marrakech Biennale, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, and other international venues, and is part of the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. She is on the faculty of the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons, the New School for Design.