Acqua Alta, an exhibition of new, color-rich abstract paintings and collages by
Fort Worth artist Julie Lazarus, will be on display September 12 through
October 10 at William Campbell Contemporary Art. An opening event will be held
on Saturday, September 12, from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. as part of Fort Worth Art
Dealers Association (FWADA) Spring Gallery Week-an extension of the group's
annual Spring Gallery Night. The gallery will also offer a 3-D virtual tour of
Acqua Alta, available at www.williamcampbellcontemporaryart.com.
William Campbell Contemporary Art will offer special hours for the entire week
of September 14 through 19, and will be open that Monday through Friday from
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In keeping
with recommended precautions due to the pandemic, the number of guests inside
the gallery at one time is limited, and masks are required.
Acqua Alta features Lazarus's large-scale oil paintings and handmade mixed-media
collages mounted on wood. The intense, vibrant abstract pieces directly reference
the artist's latest travels to Venice, Italy, while also drawing on her continued
interest in the unique luminosity of the atmosphere and landscape found throughout
the country. Specifically, the series considers the transformative power of water,
how it defines and alters its environment as a result of both natural changes and
human actions. The work materialized in response to the extreme flooding that
overtook Venice in the fall of 2019, after a season of extraordinarily high
tides, or acqua alta (high water).
Giardini Acqua Alta Lungo La Sera B, 2020
Oil on canvas, 66 x 46 in.
Over time, water has become a vehicle for Lazarus's reactions to current events
as well as a timeless visual representation of light, color, and motion. In
water, the artist finds beauty in ruin and calm amid chaos. An agent of change,
constructive and destructive, water quenches and inundates, buoys and drowns,
cleanses and stains. Further, it absorbs and reflects surrounding objects in an
array of multifaceted hues and complex forms.
Filled with gradations of saturated pigment and dynamic, organic shapes,
Lazarus's paintings and collages conjure a sense of movement through space and
time, channeling the universal ebb and flow of physical and emotional energies.
Particularly apparent in the collages, the many layers of natural environment,
coupled with geometric echoes of architecture, recall the aqua alta in Venice-how
its visual and emotional topography rises and falls with the water. Looking into
and through them becomes a journey from present to past as viewers experience
simultaneously what is and what was.
Lazarus has forged a relationship with Italy over more than two decades, and it
has left an indelible print on both the process and aesthetics of her work.
Inundated with vibrant pigments, her luscious, tactile surfaces engage the
senses as they directly recall the artist's experiences through expressive mark
making and process-driven applications. By using a palette reflective of the
deep, rich colors native to the Venetian landscape, she reveals the radiance
that exists through every layer of the picture plane and our own existence,
invariably emerging from even the darkest surroundings.
Giardini Acqua Alta Lungo A, 2020
Oil on canvas, 66 x 46 in.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Over the past three decades, Julie Lazarus has built a varied exhibition record,
showing in regional, national, and international venues. Her work has appeared
in galleries and museums in Fort Worth and Dallas, as well as in Albuquerque,
Chicago, Galveston, Houston, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Santa Fe, among
others. She has also exhibited extensively throughout Italy, with shows in
Florence, Venice, and Murano.
Lazarus was recently awarded a commission from Fort Worth Public Art to design
and fabricate a public art project for the new Fire Station #26. In 2012, she
completed her first Fort Worth Public Art project, which consisted of a
large-scale painting and glass mosaic at the Westside Water Treatment Plant.
In 2000, she designed new stained-glass windows and a bronze door for Beth El
Congregation in Fort Worth.
Lazarus's work appears in many private and public art collections, among them
those of Allstate Insurance, the Art Museum of South Texas, the Belo Corporation,
the City of Fort Worth, Credit Suisse, the Exxon Corporation, Microsoft, the
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Neiman Marcus, Texas Christian University,
Texas Instruments, XTO Energy, Frank Stella and Harriet McGuirk, and President
George W. and Laura Bush.
Julie Lazarus earned her MFA in painting and printmaking from the University of
Tulsa and her BA from Hofstra University in New York. She received additional
training from New York University, the Galveston Art Center, and Philbrook
Museum School in Tulsa.