Helena Anrather is proud to present Underbelly, an exhibition of new work by Julia Bland. Comprised of three large wall-based works and a hanging sculpture – a first for Bland – Underbelly will be on view from March 2nd through April 15th, 2018.
Bland intertwines traditions of painting and weaving to confound the boundaries of abstraction and representation, geometry and symbolism, and ornamentation and structure. Throughout the works in the exhibition, these investigations coalesce around a single form, the body of a snake. This motif appears, twists and morphs, as a figure coiled at the bottom of ‘Nest,’ as an abstracted patterning device that conflates the snake’s skin with the textile depicting it in ‘Drink This,’ as a geometric compositional tool in ‘Broken Clock (Twice a Day),’ and, in the case of the sculpture, a suggestion that the woven skeins hanging from the ceiling are the skin of the snake itself.
But the snake’s skin is more than the surface of its patterned armor—it is the border between the body and the world. The snake’s seldom-seen underbelly is sensitive to the vibrations of the earth, absorbing distant events through the rocks and dust; a metaphor for the porous interconnectedness of the unseen.
Julia Bland (b. Palo Alto, 1986) earned her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2008, and her MFA from Yale in 2012. She has been an artist in residence at The Sharpe-Walentas Space Program, Lighthouse Works, Yaddo, The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, and The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has been awarded The Milton and Sally Avery Fellowship, The Carol Scholsberg Memorial Prize, The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust Travel Fellowship, and the Florence Leif Award. She has exhibited with On Stellar Rays, The NYU Institute of Fine Arts, Miller, and Asya Geisberg Gallery in NYC, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, CES Gallery in Los Angeles, Porsesh Institute (Anahita Gallery) in Tehran, and Motus Fort in Tokyo.