Press Release

Sean Kelly Gallery is delighted to announce an exhibition of new work by British artist, Julie Roberts. This is Roberts' third solo exhibition in New York.

The exhibition includes works from 1999 to the present. At the entrance to the first gallery is a painting that depicts the actors who played the fictional crime solving duo Sherlock Holmes and Watson, whilst inside the gallery is a suite of 8 drawings of the female victims of Jack the Ripper, based on photographs taken by Scotland Yard. This juxtaposition of the fictional and the real continues in the second gallery with iconic paintings of famous art historical depictions of death scenes, including John Everett Millais' Ophelia, Henry Wallis' Chatterton and David's Marat. They are contrasted with portraits of artists and writers on their deathbeds; these include Jean Cocteau, Victor Hugo, Edvard Munch and Auguste Rodin. In the main gallery are four large paintings of doll's houses, which accurately represent specific British home interiors of four different decades. There are also two paintings of large dolls, one male, one female, and two paintings of chairs, Electric Chair and Chair Erotica, which add to Roberts' ongoing series of historical chairs as mediations on specific cultural milieu. Roberts' painting style viscerally focuses a stark contemporary gaze upon the frailties of the human condition, in which she strives to maximize the tension between attraction and repulsion, the real and perceived, abstraction and figuration. As Keith Hartley, Chief Curator and Deputy Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Art writes, "The themes that Roberts treats in her work, dream and reality, Eros and Thanatos, sleep and death, the mind and the body, the historical and the atemporal give her work a depth and associative richness that place her within a tradition going back to classical antiquity. More immediately, there is an affinity with the work of the Surrealists…in its love of ambiguity and the darker side, always tempered by a belief in the positive power of Eros."

Roberts is widely exhibited internationally and has been included in the Aperto‚ section of the Venice Biennale, Italy in 1993, and in recent exhibitions in the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; the Museum Ludwig, Budapest; the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh; the Hayward Gallery, London; Tate St Ives, England; the Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany and the Moderna Museet, Umeå, Sweden. In 1995 Roberts was the first recipient of the Scottish Arts Council's Scholarship at the British School in Rome, Italy. Roberts is represented in numerous public and private collections worldwide including The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; Indianapolis Art Museum, Indiana; the Tate Gallery, London; The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; The National Museums and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff; Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris; the Moderna Museet, Stockholm and Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Oporto, Portugal.

To coincide with this exhibition, the gallery is publishing a major monograph on Roberts' work, entitled Home: Works by Julie Roberts 1993 - 2003 with essays by Keith Hartley, Chief Curator and Deputy Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Art, Edinburgh, and William Clark, a writer and independent curator living in Glasgow, Scotland.

Checklist

Outside Gallery 1:

Sherlock Holmes, I presume, 2003
oil on canvas
22 x 21 inches (56 x 53 cm)

Gallery 1 (clockwise from left):

Jack # Frances Coles (suspected victim)
Jack # Mary Ann Nichols
Jack # Elizabeth Stride
Jack # Martha Tabram (suspected victim)
Jack # Alice Mckenzie (suspected victim)
Jack # Annie Chapman
Jack # Mary Kelly
Jack # Cathy Eddowes

all drawings are:
2001
graphite on Saunders HP, in artist's frames
paper: 18 1/2 x 15 inches (47 x 38 cm)
framed: 21 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches (54 x 47 cm)

on plinth:

Mary Kelly, 2003
oil on canvas
23 x 23 inches (58 x 58 cm)

In Niche in Corridor:

Self Portrait, 2003
oil on linen
14 x 18 inches (35 x 46 cm)

Gallery 2 (clockwise from left):

The Death of Marat, after David, 1999
oil on canvas
20 x 20 inches (51 x 51 cm)

Ophelia, after John Everett Millais, 2003
oil on canvas
22 x 33 inches (56 x 84 cm)

Chatterton, after Henry Wallis, 2001
oil on linen
22 x 33 inches (56 x 84 cm)
Edvard Munch Death Mask, 2001
oil on canvas
20 x 24 inches (51 x 61 cm)

Ingres Laid Out, 2003
oil on linen
16 x 17 inches (41 x 43 cm)

Victor Hugo Death Mask, 2003
oil on linen
19 3/4 x 25 1/2 inches (50 x 65 cm)

Rodin's Final Sleep, 2003
oil on linen
19 3/4 x 19 3/4 inches (50 x 50 cm)

Jean Cocteau Death Bed Portrait, 2003
oil on linen
19 3/4 x 23 1/2 inches (50 x 60 cm)


Main Gallery (clockwise from left):

Detached #1920, 2002
oil on acrylic on cotton duck
72 x 84 inches (183 x 213 cm)

Detached #1930, 2002
oil on acrylic on linen
72 x 72 inches (183 x 183 cm)

Detached #1940, 2001
oil on acrylic on cotton duck
72 x 84 inches (183 x 213 cm)

Detached #1960, 2002
oil on acrylic on linen
72 x 72 inches (183 x 183 cm)

Dolly, 2002
oil on acrylic on linen
94 1/2 x 75 inches (240 x 190 cm)

Little Fella, 2003
oil on acrylic on linen
94 1/2 x 75 inches (240 x 190 cm)

Electric Chair, 2003
oil on acrylic, on linen
75 x 75 inches (190 x 190 cm)

Chair Erotica, 2003
oil on acrylic on linen
75 x 75 inches (190 x 190 cm)

In the Director's Office:

Doll's House, 2002
oil on acrylic on linen
75 x 94 1/2 inches (190 x 240 cm)
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