Blackston is pleased to present Total Picture Control, Julia Dault’s first New York solo exhibition, comprising new sculptures and paintings.
Physical negotiations are paramount in Dault’s three-dimensional practice, particularly those between the recalcitrance of her industrial materials and her desire to marshal them into unexpected forms. Her sculptures, made from Formica, Plexiglas, wood, and aluminum, often have dents, scrapes, or jagged shards—testament both to the components’ previous life and to the sheer effort underpinning the finished works’ austerity. These sinuous forms are often anchored to the wall with bricklayers’ nylon string, which affirms the “control” Dault has managed to exert.
The sculptures exemplify the precise meeting point between their materials’ physical properties and the artist’s manual dexterity: unlike the works of Dault’s artistic forebears, which were often outsourced to production companies, to date she has always worked alone, creating a “performed” Minimalism in-situ. Of course, the “totality” of this control, as in life itself, is an illusion, and the sculptures’ solidity can never be fully fixed.
Achieving balance, often with unconventional, commercially available materials, is likewise central to Dault’s painting practice. The juxtaposition of athletic tape and imitation gold and silver leaf with more traditional oil and acrylic paints accompanies a formal equipoise between chastened grids and free-form mark-making. Her densely layered compositions, achieved through expressive gestures, the use of stencils, the imprinting of discarded palettes, uncontrolled drips, and other means, emphasize the détente between planning and risk so evident in her sculptures.
Julia Dault received her MFA in Fine Arts from Parsons The New School for Design in 2008, and her work has been exhibited regularly in Toronto and New York. She was the art critic for Canada’s National Post from 2003 to 2006, and her writing has appeared in various publications, including BorderCrossings, Walrus Magazine, Azure, and Artforum.com. In addition to her art and writing practices, she teaches at Parsons and at the Rhode Island School of Design.