Since the early 1990s, Julia Fish (b. 1950, Oregon) has developed a singular practice based on a sustained engagement with her immediate surroundings. For over 20 years, Fish has produced work that documents and mediates her experience of looking and working in her storefront home on North Hermitage Avenue in Chicago. In this setting, the artist has found an array of motifs and structural forms that are key to the subjects of her work. With precision and detail, Fish transposes the naturally occurring geometries found in tiles, floors and architectural details into exquisitely observed paintings and drawings.
Fish received her BFA degree at Pacific Northwest College of Art, and her MFA degree at the Maryland Institute, College of Art. Her paintings and drawings are included in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Yale University Art Gallery; The Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago; and Illinois State Museum, Springfield. Her work was the subject of a ten-year survey exhibition, View, at The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago in 1996, and more recently was included in 2010, the Whitney Biennial, Homebodies, MCA Chicago in 2013, and Apparitions: Frottages and Rubbings from 1860 to Now at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles in 2015 (travelled to Menil Collection, Houston). Concurrent with our forthcoming exhibition, Julia Fish: floret, opening January 11, 2017, Fish's work will be on view at James Harris Gallery in Seattle. She has lived and worked in Chicago since 1985.