Inclusively and theoretically, Julia Fish’s work can be characterized as both site-generated and context-specific: in temporary projects / installations, and in the on-going sequence of paintings and works on paper developed in response to a close examination of the experience of living and working within her home and studio, a 1922 two-storey brick storefront in Chicago. Fish has described this process as one which “opens onto questions and critical approaches to the practice of painting, to drawing, and to the nuances and implications of representation / re-presentation.” Concurrent and influential research interests include the related disciplines of architecture, architectural history and theory.
After completing studies for the BFA and MFA degrees in Oregon and Maryland, respectively, Fish relocated to Chicago in 1985. Her work has been presented in twenty-seven solo exhibitions since 1980, and has twice been the subject of ‘ten-year’ survey exhibitions: most recently, Julia Fish : bound by spectrum, DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, 2019-2020; and View, The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, 1996. National/ international exhibitions include, among others: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; MAK Center for Art and Architecture / Schindler House, Los Angeles; Tang Museum, Skidmore College; Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin; Galerie Remise, Bludenz, Austria; 2010, the Whitney Biennial, and Homebodies, MCA Chicago, 2013.
Paintings and works on paper 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; Denver Art Museum; Yale University Art Gallery; The Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago; DePaul Art Museum, Chicago; University of Michigan Museum of Art; and Illinois State Museum, Springfield. Her work is also represented by Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago.
Fish’s studio work and research has been supported by grants and fellowships awarded by the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts/Painting; Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; Cal Arts-Alpert/Ucross Foundation; she also received competitive research-travel funding from the University of Illinois at Chicago. DePaul Art Museum was awarded exhibition and publication funding for Julia Fish : bound by spectrum, from The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Julia Fish is Professor Emerita, School of Art and Art History, and UIC Distinguished Professor.