Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Art, Life and Everything

Book cover: 'Art Life and Everything'
My memoir 'Art, Life and Everything' launches on 24 September 2019 as a limited edition of 300 copies (paperback). It is an account of my journey as an artist between the years 1978 - 2010, recounting my personal history during a time of extraordinary change in both the art world and the world at large.

The book launch will be hosted by Sracok and Pohlmann at studio1.1, 57A Redchurch Street, London E2 8DJ.

'Art, Life and Everything' is edited by Anna McNay, with a foreword by Colin Thubron CBE. The book consists of 186 pages, and contains 40 illustrations, 38 in colour. Upon publication, it will be available through Amazon or through my website, as well as a number of bookshops.

Robin Klassnik, founder and director of Matt's Gallery describes it as:

"A thoroughly enjoyable read. Art, Life and Everything shows the importance and joy of painting and making art. It provides insight into how an artist functions in their studio and in the outside world.

Julie presents an investigative and relevant example of how an artist has to struggle and continue to work on a professional level, for that is what they do throughout their careers".

Monday, 22 July 2019

A Book About Death: Islip Art Museum, New York

Very pleased to be including an image in this international group show, entitled 'A Book About Death', at Islip Art Museum in New York. My piece is handmade, using ink on paper.

I've printed an edition of 500 postcards for the exhibition which runs from 14th September to 2nd November, 2019.

A Book About Death will take place at Islip Art Museum, Brookwood Hall, 50 Irish Lane, East Islip, New York 11730. USA.

This is a global show celebrating the life and work of the late, underground American artist Ray Johnson, the father of the mail art movement (1927-1995) The first 'A Book about Death' exhibition was curated by Matthew Rose in 2009.

28 worldwide ABAD shows have followed over the past 10 years. This exhibition, in 2019, is the tenth anniversary edition - and quite possibly the last in the series.

Copyright: Julie Umerle

The whole of this 10th Anniversary ABAD Exhibition has been requested by a mail art museum in Paris,  France and by the Islip Art Museum for inclusion in their permanent collections. It will also be sent to MoMA in New York City to stand with the 2009 show they already have in their permanent collection.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Installation photos of 'Made in Britain', Gdansk

As promised, here are some installation shots of my painting, 'Eclipse', part of the Priseman Seabrook Collection, and currently showing in Gdansk at the National Museum of Poland's major new exhibition: 'Made in Britain - 82 Painters of the 21st Century'.

The exhibition presents 82 works of British art. It is the only art collection in the United Kingdom dedicated to painting produced in Britain after the year 2000.

My painting is included in the 'New Abstractions' section. The show continues until 2 June 2019. A catalogue has been published to accompany the exhibition.

Photos by Anna McNay.


'Made in Britain: 82 Painters of the 21st Century'
National Museum of Poland, Gdansk
'Made in Britain: 82 Painters of the 21st Century'
National Museum of Poland, Gdansk
'Eclipse', Julie Umerle
'Made in Britain: 82 Painters of the 21st Century'National Museum of Poland, Gdansk



Made in Britain - 82 Painters of the 21st Century
The National Museum, The Green Gate, Dlugi Targ 24, 80 - 828 Gdansk, Poland

Tel: 48 58 307 59 12

Dates: 14 March  to 9 June 2019

Gallery open Tuesday - Sunday. 10.00 - 16.00

Curted by Robert Priseman, Anna McNay, Malgorzata Taraszkiewicz-Zwolicka and Malgorzata Ruszkowska-Macur

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Hyperallergic: A View From the Easel


I am pleased to have my studio featured in 'A View from the Easel' as part of  Hyperallergic's weekly series of artist studio shots.

Hyperallergic is a Brooklyn-based arts magazine - a forum for serious, playful, and radical thinking about art in the world today.

Studio photo by Peter Abrahams
My studio is a converted fire house in East London, in an industrial part of the city near to the former Olympic Site. It is a large, square space (around 550 square feet). The light in my studio is a constant source of inspiration. There is a skylight in the roof as well as a wall of windows. For an abstract artist, this is a very clean, clear space to work in and the best studio I have ever had.
I’ve painted the concrete floors with gray industrial paint; the walls — made of breeze blocks, bricks and concrete — have been painted white. I have constructed a large store in one corner of the studio where I can keep my paintings, and I have a plan chest to store my works on paper, so I try to keep the wall areas clear for me to paint on. I don’t use an easel but pin canvases to the wall directly and often work on more than one piece at the same time. I have a large table to work on in the middle of the studio. My work has become increasingly minimal since I moved into this studio some 15 years ago.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Aesthetica Art Prize 2019

7 March – 14 July, York Art Gallery

Pleased that my painting Split Infinity has been longlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2019 (selected from over 4500 artists) and will be published in this year's Future Now anthology.

The Future Now anthology showcases the work of 100 contemporary artists from the Aesthetica Art Prize, some of the most exciting artists from around the world, and it is a dynamic guide to international contemporary art.

My painting will also be part of the Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition at York Art Gallery from 7 March - 14 July, where it will be exhibited digitally.

Split Infinity. 2017. 150 x 150 cm.Acrylic on canvas
© Julie Umerle 
"Umerle paints in series that are open-ended, exploring similarity, repetition and difference within each group of work. Split Infinity is geometric and hard-edged, but also contains free flowing areas where rivulets of paint cascade down the surface of the painting. The canvas is a divided field of blue and green." Aesthetica Magazine.

The Aesthetica Art Prize is an annual exhibition that invites audiences to explore, discover and engage with new ideas. The works on display cover a range of themes from technology, urbanisation and digitisation to population growth and ecological destruction and climate change. We are living in the Anthropocene. It’s the only time in history that human impact has had such a negative effect on the planet.

Great art can change lives. It reveals things we don’t know, encourages us to think differently and to see the world in a new way. Art is a way to convene, discuss and understand the world. There have been considerable shifts in civilisation in the Information Age – resulting in a change in the way we communicate, engage with and interact with each other. There has been a level of disconnect that has not been experienced before. The Digital Age has created a new way of seeing.

The pieces included this year’s exhibition draw on both personal and universal narratives, looking at how we are so connected to the internet and profiles, likes and shares that we are forgetting how to forget something and the wider impact this will have on culture. In the age of globalisation culture is becoming homogenised and identity is fluid. What does this mean for the individual?

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Made in Britain: 82 Painters of the 21st Century


Proud to be showing my work next year at The National Gallery of Poland, Gdansk, in an exhibition entitled 'Made in Britain: 82 Painters of the 21st Century'. My family roots are in Poland so, for me, it is very appropriate.

The exhibition, which is the first British painting exhibition in the country for forty years, features a selection of work from the Priseman Seabrook collection. It runs from 14 March - 2 June 2019.  The opening reception is on Thursday 14th March at 6pm.

A panel discussion will take place at 10am at the Gdansk Academy of Fine Arts on Friday 15th March, and there will be a finishing event on the 2nd June.

The show itself will take place over three floors at The Green Gate, which is one of the main tourist attractions in Gdansk.

I am sure there will be many installation views and photographs of 'Made in Britain' which I will post here when the exhibition opens. Watch this space!

'Made in Britain: 82 Painters of the 21st Century' is curated by Robert Priseman, Anna McNay, Malgorzata Taraszkiewica-Kwolicka and Malgorzata Ruszkowska-Macur.

Artists:  David Ainley, Iain Andrews, Amanda Ansell, Louis Appleby, Richard Baker, Karl Bielik, Claudia Böse, John Brennan, Julian Brown, Simon Burton, Ruth Calland, Emma Cameron, Simon Carter, Maria Chevska, Jules Clarke, Wayne Clough, Ben Coode-Adams, Ben Cove, Lucy Cox, Andrew Crane, Pen Dalton, Alan Davie, Jeffrey Dennis, Lisa Denyer, Sam Douglas, Annabel Dover, Natalie Dowse, Fiona Eastwood, Nathan Eastwood, Tracey Emin, Geraint Evans, Paul Galyer, Pippa Gatty, Terry Greene, Susan Gunn, Susie Hamilton, Alex Hanna, David Hockney, Marguerite Horner, Barbara Howey, Phil Illingworth, Linda Ingham, Silvie Jacobi, Kelly Jayne, Matthew Krishanu, Bryan Lavelle, Andrew Litten, Cathy Lomax, Paula MacArthur, David Manley, Enzo Marra, Monica Metsers, Nicholas Middleton, Andrew Munoz, Keith Murdoch, Paul Newman, Stephen Newton, Gideon Pain, Andrew Parkinson, Mandy Payne, Charley Peters, Ruth Philo, Alison Pilkington, Narbi Price, Robert Priseman, Freya Purdue, James Quin, Greg Rook, Katherine Russell, Stephen Snoddy, Ben Snowden, David Sullivan, Harvey Taylor, Molly Thomson, Ehryn Torrell, Judith Tucker, Philip Tyler, Julie Umerle, Marius von Brasch, Mary Webb , Sean Williams and Fionn Wilson.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

'Talking Back' by bell hooks

In 1989, I had the honour of being commissioned by Sheba Feminist Pubishers to provide a book cover for bell hook's first UK publication of 'Talking Back'.

The image was chosen from a selection of slides I had deposited at the Women Artists Slide Library. Upon seeing the cover, bell wrote to the publishers:

"The cover is so absolutely beautiful. It has given me so much pleasure and delight this gray winter evening".

Such praise from an author I greatly admire, and excellent feedback for my project!

'Talking Back' has since been published in other formats in the UK and US, by other publishers and with different covers. But mine is the only copy of the book in this format that I have seen when searching for it online.

Whilst probably greatly sought after by book collectors, it is one thing I will never sell.

ISBN 0 907179 401