Julie Rafalski


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Exhibition News:
Projections Solo Exhibition
13 April - 4 May
Studio Wooden Gallery
1007 North Wolcott Avenue, Chicago 60622

Opening times
Thursday and Friday 5.30 - 8.30pm; Saturday 12 - 6pm
And by appointment: email: info@julierafalski.com

Saturday, April 12th 2014, 6.00 - 8.30pm
Opening night includes live music for marimba and vibraphone
with a new piece written for the occasion by composer Marta Ptaszynska.

Listen to a short interview about this exhibition on Soundcloud

Rafalski builds her work from the documentation of other artists’ and architects’ work. Her pieces for this exhibition abound in references; walking through the gallery is like walking through the index pages of an encyclopedia of modernist art and architecture. Figures who appear in her work either directly or indirectly are: Mies van der Rohe, Ellsworth Kelly, Yves Klein, Piet Mondrian, Barnett Newman, Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Anthony Caro and Alexander Calder.

In Projections, a series of large prints, images of Mies van der Rohe’s interiors have been overlaid with brightly-colored geometric shapes that demarcate a superimposed space. These shapes, as if in dialogue with van der Rohe’s architectural language, are a silhouette outline of an alternative constructed space that could exist within his architecture.

At the core of Rafalski’s practice is a playfulness and deadpan humour which manifests itself in misquoting certain artists’ visual language or entering into a visual dialogue with well-known artworks. The piece, Flavin’s Ghost, consists of two photographic prints which show a floor reflection of a Dan Flavin neon piece. The reflection is doubled to create a ghostlike image. Another work, Konfetti, was made by punching holes in a poster of a Yves Klein painting. Other pieces show reconstructed images of the American colour field painters Ellsworth Kelly and Barnett Newman.

In her work, Rafalski re-examines the output of artists, architects and designers of the modernist era. She creates playful dialogues with the visual language of modernist artworks, adding another layer of meaning to them. She often reuses printed ephemera that document pieces of art or buildings. Many of her images are sourced from art history books and encyclopaedias. She intervenes in these images in different ways, often by fragmenting the image, folding it, or changing its scale. Her pieces constitute a “remixing” of material, forging new, playful connections and restagings of modernist works. Rafalski invokes the ghosts of the modernist era, inviting them to join her in conversation.