Julia Wachtel, ‘Narrative Collapse I’, 1981, Vilma Gold

About Julia Wachtel

Julia Wachtel’s oil, acrylic, and silkscreen-on-canvas paintings, which are dominated by signs, banners, and logos drawn from popular culture, explore the impact of our image-saturated world on the human psyche. Part of the Pictures Generation artists who emerged in early-1980s New York, Wachtel mines posters of movie stars, pin-up girls, political figures, and pop music icons, as well as cartoon figures drawn from commercial greeting cards and media images that reference the socio-political landscape, before appropriating and altering them, often repeating elements or juxtaposing them with other images so that they are at once familiar and disorienting. To create her “American Color” series, begun in the early ’90s, she pulled photographic images from television of ordinary people confessing personal stories on daytime talk shows, or actors captured in moments of heightened emotion, then recreated them in silkscreen-on-canvas set against monochrome backgrounds, as a way of parodying the representation of human emotion and experience in mainstream media.

American, b. 1956, New York, New York

Fair History on Artsy

2015
Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois at The Armory Show 2015