Julie Wolfe

Opposing Forces

September 10 – October 29, 2022

Julie Wolfe’s work is rooted in the practice of gathering images and data to explore the world around us, but more importantly, the inner worlds of the self.  Wolfe guides the viewer on a journey of transformation through richly conceived systems of color, form, and language that often serve as markers of time and place. It is fitting that the artist introduces us to her newest body of work at a time when the James Webb Space Telescope has provided humanity with our deepest and clearest views of the universe to date. By reflecting 13.1 billion years of light back to Earth, scientists have illuminated the farthest reaches of the cosmos for us to collectively study. It is impossible to resist meditating on our relationship to those distant stars while faced with the magnitude of information in these telescope images.

In Opposing Forces, Julie Wolfe continues the investigation of dichotomies in the natural and man-made worlds. By creating relationships between seemingly disparate elements, the artist asks viewers to ponder larger concepts of consciousness, perception, and their very existence within the expanding universe. Through this practice of seeking, Wolfe guides her audience toward a greater sense of meaning and order in an age that feels more like science fiction. Visual references and themes seen throughout the artist’s career are re-examined in this body of work and serve to build upon those concepts. Julie Wolfe creates a space for viewers to stretch their perceptions; to conquer the pressing question of existence while also acknowledging that ultimately, the universe defies reason.

Julie Wolfe (American, born 1963) is a visual and conceptual artist living and working in Washington, DC. Her work is exhibited and collected internationally and has been featured in ARTnews, BBC America and Hyperallergic. She recently completed a site-specific commission, Space Scape, for the Meta Open Arts collection in Washington DC.  Recent exhibitions include Quest for a Third Paradise, The American University Museum, Washington, DC (2017), The Color of Light: Utopian Abstractions, originating at the Rothko Art Centre, Daugavpils, Latvia and traveling to L’ancienne évêché, Uzes, and Sete, France (2021). Previous exhibitions at HEMPHILL include Wildfires and Dreamfields (2020), Under Their Gaze, We Become Creatures (2019), The Language of the Birds (2016), Rewilding (2013) and Julie Wolfe (2010). Wolfe received a BFA in Painting and Art History from The University of Texas, Austin, TX.