London Art Reviews

Magazine of art press and reviews from London

Julie Umerle great exhibition at the Art Bermondsey Project Space, London.

Naples Orange, 2013 © Julie Umerle, ph. co. Art Bermondsey Project Space, London.

Naples Orange, 2013 © Julie Umerle, ph. co. Art Bermondsey Project Space, London.

London – “Rewind” by Julie Umerle was a captivating exhibition at the Art Bermondsey Project Space.

The exhibition “Rewind: A solo exhibition of recent paintings” presented works by Julie Umerle, including four large-scale paintings, a series of smaller canvases and a series of works on paper.

The exhibition at the Art Bermondsey Project Space showcased the Rewind series of paintings and the Transoxide series of works on paper, together with a group of large canvases.

The main aspect of the Rewind series is that the canvases are not displayed prepared, thus accentuating the minimalism of the images. Essentially, the significant element of the painting is the object itself, which is placed very close to the boundaries of the canvas.

The Transoxide series is instead developed on wet stretched paper, where coloured grounds are layered with white paint and marks of black ink. In an ongoing exploration of materials, this series presented the work of Umerle on the organic qualities of the ink and on the several effects of the various surfaces.

The “Rewind” exhibition was made possible thanks to a Grants for the Arts award from Arts Council England.

Her abstract works are often painted in series, exploring repetition, similarity and difference within each group. The paintings of Umerle are often created in open-ended series with new works being inspired by previous ones.

The practice of Umerle’s suggests continuing creative developments of which interrupted moments are crystallised and thus depicted on canvas. Through a great work of abridgement, Umerle expresses clarity in degrees of precision and harmony.

The work of Umerle is an investigation of materials and the perception of the image. The pressure of the brush, the viscosity of the paint and the speed of application are just some of the variables that play a part in her mark – making process.

A catalogue of “Rewind: A solo exhibition of recent paintings” was being published for the exhibition, with an essay by

Transoxide VI, 2015 © Julie Umerle, ph. co. Art Bermondsey Project Space, London.

Transoxide VI, 2015 © Julie Umerle, ph. co. Art Bermondsey Project Space, London.

Anna McNay.

Julie Umerle relocated from the USA to London as a young child with her family. She studied French Literature at the University of Sussex and fine art at Falmouth University, Cornwall where she was awarded a First class Hons degree. She graduated from Parsons The New School for Design in New York City with a MFA in 1998.

From 1991 to 1996, Umerle worked as an artist educator at numerous galleries in London, including The Whitechapel Gallery, The Hayward Gallery and The Royal Academy. She lived and worked between London and New York for a further five years after completing her studies, before returning to the UK and settling again in London in 2003.

She has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad. Umerle held her first solo exhibition in London at the Car Breaker Gallery (located in the squat of Frestonia), followed a few years later by a solo show at The Barbican Arts Centre. In April 1995, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum hosted Umerle’s first museum exhibition of paintings.

She has exhibited in group shows at Flowers Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts. Early exhibitions in New York were at Artists Space and AIR Gallery. Internationally, she has also shown in France and Germany.

Recent solo exhibitions in London include ‘Cosmos or Chaos’ at studio1.1 in 2010.

(This article firstly published on 9th April 2017)

“Rewind: A solo exhibition of recent paintings” was at the Art Bermondsey Project Space, London, from 31st August until 10th September 2016. 

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This entry was posted on July 21, 2018 by in Private Galleries, Reviews and tagged , , , , .


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