In her work, Julie Langsam references seventeenth-century
European landscape vistas and takes as subject matter
twentieth-century Western modernist architecture, to which
she was exposed growing up in Westchester and Manhattan,
NY, in the 1970s and 1980s.
Langsam employs a naturalistic painting style, sensitive and yet
precise, while coalescing diverse themes, including: tight geometrical
compositions based on historical modernist floor plans; detailed views
of iconic buildings by influential modernist architects; and open-ended
twilight skies reminiscent of paintings by Frederic Edwin Church and
the nineteenth-century Hudson River School.
Choosing color as a unifier, albeit distributed based on chance
processes, the singular hues she introduces envelop everything
in an artificially saturated, outer-space-like atmosphere. Isolated
and devoid of human presence, Langsam’s renderings of these
structures emphasize the protraction of its formal vocabulary emptied
of modernism’s unrealized, utopian social aspirations.
Langsam’s approach to painting is conceptual in nature, driven by a
vision of art as a discipline that extends to many humanistic specialties.
Uncharacteristically, she does not separate among diverse traditions in
painting, nor does she linger on painting’s formal inventions, especially in
abstraction. She addresses, instead, the expressive potential of realistic
representation and the interplay of highly influential languages on
contemporary culture at this point in time, including photography and
Langsam is an associate professor in drawing at Mason Gross School of
the Arts, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick. Her
work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at 532 Gallery Thomas
Jaeckel, New York, NY; Richard & Dolly Maass Gallery, Purchase College,
SUNY Purchase, NY; Espai 8, Barcelona, Spain; Reykjavik Art Gallery, Iceland;
Usher Gallery, Lincoln, England; H-Project Space, Bangkok, Thailand; Transition
Gallery, London, England; and Neuberger Art Museum, Purchase, NY, to name a
few. She received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 1994 and a Fulbright
Teaching Award Recommendation in 2012, among other awards.
Artist’s website: http://julielangsam.com/