Fri 17 Nov 2023 to Sat 6 Jan 2024
Artist: Julia Maiuri
Workplace presents Yesterday & The End, an exhibition of new paintings by Julia Maiuri.
Weaving together scenes of vampires, imposters and the stars of yesteryear, Maiuri's exhibition shifts between cinematic notions of time and a painterly language of memory. In this new series of paintings, the artist continues her longstanding interest in the history of cinema, stitching disparate films to create works that are at once foreboding, ethereal and lyrical.
Distinct from the sharpness of a cut or the sense of closure of a fade-to-black, a ‘dissolve’ within cinema is a particular technique to mark a transition between scenes. Just as this technique is often utilised by directors to play with time and draw emotional, psychological and conceptual connections between distinct moments, Maiuri has invented her own unique dissolves based upon different films for this new body of work.
Maiuri is interested in how freezing moments of transition creates a feeling of tension and suspense, complicating progression and the permanence of place. She has collected wide-ranging images from the history of cinema to explore visual motifs, character tropes and narrative themes, often collapsing disparate periods and genres. The exhibition title, Yesterday & The End, evokes paradoxes between the past and present, while underscoring psychologically-tense appreciation of time – either within cinema or painting.
Whether it is the dark seduction of a vampire or the personal crisis of a former-star, a number of classic works of cinema confront notions of transformation and change. These paintings are largely based on a number of films which cross history and genre but have a shared set of concerns. By drawing connections and parallels to films and characters through time periods, a new sense of foreshadowing can be felt across the works, while also suggesting that the attitudes and expectations of audiences have, and will continue, to change.
The works display a notable shift in the artist’s process. Making use of both gallery floors, the exhibition will present a series of small and medium-sized paintings on the ground floor, with brightly-coloured raw canvas pieces on the lower ground. While Maiuri has been working with cinematic visual devices for many years, for these works she began with a saturated underpainting, which creeps through in parts of each canvas where the final painting is desaturated and monochromatic. Each series of works mirror the composition of each other, reflecting back subtle conventions of form and visual culture.