October 6, 2021 320 PM
MARFA — Julie Speed will open her studio at 520 Catherine Street in Marfa, this weekend, October 8 and 9, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., showing recent gouache and collage. This new work keeps obvious clues to a minimum. Wildly informative collage bits of 18th and 19th century etchings and plates return to layer on meanings at close examination, and yet keep at bay any sense of calm. Speed produces a very recognizable, steady and potentially mysterious aesthetic, yet never the same, never settled, equal parts wonder and menace. The juxtapositions, a puzzle of possible information or red herrings, cats, birds, weather and composed competent faces, belie the roiling sea and absurd circumstances they all find themselves painted into.
A concurrent exhibition, East of the Sun & West of the Moon, at the Dishman Museum of Art at Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas, just opened. This exhibition, organized by the El Paso Museum of Art, curated by Patrick Shaw Cable, first traveled to the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia.
In this exhibition the collage elements of colorful Japanese woodblocks and the gray tones of engravings have moved from primarily border and vestments to taking over large portions of several pieces, which make for possible multiple narratives as the action of the original image finds itself repurposed as pieced quilts or feature the faces of Japanese men peering into the work. Layers of looking and feeling and thinking can get one far off the path, which is the point of the adventure, however can also be disorienting. As an aid to understanding her sometimes complex process, not just for collage, also for how she constructs an oil painting or gouache, Speed has created three distinct videos of eight minute loops synced with music, titled “Close Up,” that will be projected in an auditorium so viewers can ideally go back to revisit a painting after watching. This exhibition at the Dishman Museum runs through November 13.