Exhibition poster for:
10/09 → 10/30 2021
Simchowitz Gallery is pleased to present Julian Pace: Some Paintings, an exhibition of new work by the Los Angeles-based artist. This is Pace’s first exhibition with the gallery.
Julian Pace’s (b. 1988, Seattle, WA) paintings of cultural icons and political figures extend from drawings–also featured in the exhibition–ultimately realized at a larger-than-life scale on canvas. Pace has crafted a set of painterly techniques to achieve a unique dimensional and textural representation that, with his skillful figuration, captures the detail and intimacy of his moleskine drawings, which he calls the “foundation of his practice.” Examined in a sometimes humorous, other times reflective exploration of celebrity, Pace tends to focus on and embellish what makes his subjects visually distinct.
Pace’s anthropological observation of contemporary culture collides with prominent art historical reference points–from the Renaissance, through expressionism, with a particular relationship to the savvy political critique of Pop Art. With subjects ranging from sports stars to celebrity influencers, from religious icons to the anonymous muses of historical masters, Pace pulls the thread of Pop’s legacy of appropriation, celebrity worship and an intentional flattening of mass culture and high art.
This impulse takes on new meaning in Pace’s work and in the context of our extremely digital age, where celebrity and media production are distorted and even more complexly woven into our day-to-day lives and experiences. Pace’s figures are given the shoulders of giants, inflated hands, and disproportionately small heads and whether the focus is on Gandhi, Kanye West, or his friend and fellow artist Ken Taylor the treatment remains the same–a conflation of power and positionality. In the same way global news, history, culture, and updates about friends and celebrities are flattened in one endless digital scroll, confusing our sense of personal relationship to one thing or another, meaning is easily made and unmade and context becomes irrelevant as space collapses. Pace casts his subjects almost as monuments–specific time or place, accomplishments or notoriety, become less important than the buildup and presentation of meaning. Whether the person Pace is focusing on is a casual acquaintance or an icon, he treats each subject with a balance of reverence and familiarity.
Some Paintings opens on October 9, 2021, with an opening reception from 10AM - 6PM, and will run through October 30, 2021.
Julian Pace (b. 1988, Seattle, WA) lives and works in Los Angeles. In his practice he interrogates the play on the absurd yet deep-rooted themes of celebrity worship, consumerism, identity, and self-absorption in contemporary culture. In a society increasingly obsessed with the idea of the individual, how we look, act, and present ourselves, Pace’s work highlights the monumentalizing effect of the renown. His portraits are a disarmingly literal take on the notion of blowing a sense of ourselves out of proportion as ‘the ego of the image seems to grow with the shoulders’. In both their treatment and content, Pace’s portraits clearly demonstrate his deep interest in art history and the figure of the artist, underpinned by several formative years spent in Florence. Drawing sits at the foundation of Pace’s practice, allowing him to distill the blend of humor and careful observation that his work has become internationally recognized for. Working from these delicate sketches, Pace then skillfully enlarges his drawings on canvas, integrating texture and abstracted details as he scales. Julian Pace’s work has recently been included in exhibitions at the Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach; Fabien Fryns, Dubai; Spazio Amanita, New York; Simchowitz, Los Angeles; The Cabin, Los Angeles; and The Pit, Los Angeles.View all works by Julian