Comets, Vortices, and Colliding Galaxies
Julia Stoops
2 May 201428 May 2014

Opening reception — Friday, May 2 — 5–8pm
Wednesdays — 3–6pm
Saturday, May 10 & 24 — 1–4pm

This work continues Julia Stoops’ ongoing fascination with physics and astronomy, imagined in a lush and chaotic aspect. It is also informed by Stoops’ continued interest in combining abstract-expressive mark-making and computer-generated geometries to create chimerical landscapes. The works are primarily abstract, yet each conveys a strong sense of space.

These pieces are composed from the non-physical to the physical, with the help of physics governing the behavior of materials. Fluids of different viscosities, such as ink-jet printer ink and house paint, are flung with abandon or threaded in loose spirals. Colored medium blown around on paper captures erratic edges. Resist techniques exploit the absorbencies of different types of paper, and wet-on-wet techniques allow color to stain, drip, splatter, and seep in unpredictable ways.

Stoops’ media-and-process-driven approach is in service to a conceptual outlook that honors symbol and narrative. The paintings are built in stages, layering washes, lines and shapes that follow the physical laws of moving liquids and cannot be created any other way. Additionally, translucent computer-generated geometric shapes are applied in collage. These digital forms act as a foil for the colorful abandon of the fluids’ marks.

Stoops enjoys the contrast generated by combining the unpredictable aspects of liquid mark-making, and the precision of digital collage. This continues a longstanding theme of contrasting chaos and order that has been present in her work since the Dialogues series of 1998.