Julie Lazarus – Acqua Alta opens Sept. 12 at William Campbell

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New Works By Julie Lazarus

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).   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.  

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.  

ABOUT THE GALLERY Founded in 1974 by William and Pam Campbell, William Campbell Contemporary Art exhibits high-quality contemporary art in a variety of media, including paintings, works on paper, mixed-media constructions, photography, prints, ceramics, and sculpture. By exhibiting nationally recognized artists, along with new and emerging talent, the gallery aims to nurture an awareness and appreciation of the exciting diversity found in contemporary art. CONTACT William Campbell Contemporary Art 4935 Byers Avenue Fort Worth, Texas 76107 817.737.9566

www.williamcampbellcontemporaryart.com Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. / Saturday, 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m / by appointment