“Julie Speed: Undertoad” concurrent exhibits in Austin & San Antonio

Speed_Undertoad web size

A collaboration between Flatbed Press and Gallery and Ruiz-Healy Art –  An exhibition of paintings, prints, and collages spanning two cities.

The exhibition will be on display at Flatbed Press and Gallery February 16 – April 7, 2016 2830 East MLK Jr. Blvd., Austin, Texas 78702

Flatbed Press and Gallery Opening Reception Friday, February 19 6:00-8:00pm

Presented concurrently with Ruiz-Healy Art February 17- March 19, 2016 Ruiz-Healy Art 201-A East Olmos Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78212 Ruiz-Healy Art opening reception Wednesday, February 17 6:00-8:00pm

Flatbed Press and Gallery, Austin, and Ruiz-Healy Art, San Antonio, are pleased to present Julie Speed: Undertoad, an exhibition of paintings, prints, and collages spanning two cities. The artist will be in attendance for both of the opening receptions, at Flatbed Press and Ruiz- Healy Art. A jointly published catalogue with essay by Lyle W. Williams, Curator of Prints and Drawings at The McNay Art Museum, will be available.

After dropping out of Rhode Island School of Design at age 19, Julie Speed spent her twenties moving around the U.S. and Canada working pick-up jobs (house painter, horse trainer, ad writer, farm worker etc.) until moving to Texas in 1978 where she settled down and taught herself to paint. She switches back and forth regularly between oil painting, printmaking, collage, gouache and drawing, often combining disciplines.

Utilizing her keen sense of the absurd, Speed ponders the big questions—the role of religion, isolation and longing, sexuality, sin and guilt—with a sly, sometimes dark, sense of humor and a steadfast refusal to offer the viewer any tidy resolutions. It is the emphatically open-ended and omnivorous nature of her work, combining anxiety, erotica, and violence with the

subversive power of beauty that puts Speed in the vanguard of a return to figurative painting in contemporary art.

The question that arises time and time again with Speed’s work is what does it all mean? There is a physical presence to the work that draws people in; these are not works meant to be seen from across the room but rather up close, not glanced at but stared at intently. The artist wants us to look and to think about meaning, about storytelling, but there are no hard and fast answers to be had. In the post-modern tradition, the audience is not told what to think or how to interpret. The audience determines meaning; and the meaning can be different for different viewers at different times.

Julie Speed has exhibited throughout the United States and internationally at numerous galleries, museums and collections. The list includes: Austin Museum of Art, Austin, TX; Museo de Naciones, Lima, Peru; Dallas City Hall, TX; and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. Her work is a permanent part of the public collections at Texas State University, San Marcos, TX; and University of Arkansas at Little Rock, AR.

Submitted by Annalise Gratovich. Email: anna@flatbedpress.com

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