Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Shape Arts at The Hospital Club: Benefit Art Showcase and Sale

Blue/Green. 45.8 x 45.8 cm. Acrylic on canvas
Copyright Julie Umerle

Please join Shape Arts for a prestigious contemporary art benefit exhibition and sale at London’s renowned The Hospital Club on Tuesday 3 October 2017, coinciding with the week of the Frieze Art Fair.

On display and for sale at the evening reception will be 24 affordable works generously donated by artists in recognition of the legacy of disabled sculptor Adam Reynolds, namesake of Shape Arts’ flagship art award, the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary – now in its tenth year – and the continued importance of the organisation’s work in pushing for a more inclusive and accessible arts sector for disabled people. Artworks have been donated by Anish Kapoor, Anna Ostoya, Barnaby Barford, Charlie Godet Thomas, Christian Furr, Clare Kenny, Diana Al-Hadid, Fiona Banner, Gary Hume, Gavin Turk, Imran Qureshi, John Baldessari, Joy Miessi, Julie Umerle, Marc Quinn, Martin Creed, Mona Hatoum, Penny Slinger, Pipilotti Rist, Rachel Pimm, Rivane Neuenschwander, Stuart Pearson Wright and Tim Etchells.

In an exciting range of media including painting, print, photography, sculpture and art object, and valued across a broad price range, the donated works, many of them newly-created and not previously exhibited, are set to appeal to a diverse base of collectors, buyers and art lovers. The works will be displayed and sold at a drinks reception at The Hospital Club, 24 Endell St, London WC2H 9HQ from 6 - 9pm on Tuesday 3 October 2017, which will be open to the public and accessible.

Allowing buyers to engage in philanthropy while adding to their collections, proceeds from the sale will contribute to sustaining and expanding Shape Arts’ prestigious Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary. The upcoming tenth Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary will offer the successful recipient an award of £10,000 and a three-month residency with Pallant House Gallery, Chichester from 6 February to 29 April 2018. The artists shortlisted for this acclaimed award were announced earlier this week as Terence Birch, Sarah Carpenter, Catherine Cleary, Jesse Darling, Nicola Lane and Rebecca Lennon; all will go on to show work together as part of Shape’s 2018 Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary Shortlist exhibition.

Full details:

For more information, including a list of available works, please contact Lulu Nunn, Arts Engagement, PR and Marketing Officer at Shape Arts – or +44 (0) 207 424 7351

Shape Arts is very grateful to Barefoot Wine & Bubbly for its generous sponsorship of this event. 

Start: 3rd October 2017 at 6.00pm
End: 3rd October 2017 at 6.00pm
Location: The Hospital Club, 24 Endell Street, London WC2H 8HQ

Monday, 14 August 2017

Artist in Residence at London Marriott, Canary Wharf

The Marriott, Canary Wharf

Julie Umerle announced as Artist in Residence at the prestigious 5-star London Marriott in Canary Wharf

From 3rd October 2017 to 3rd October 2018, the 5-star London Marriott West India Quay in the heart of London's financial district of Canary Wharf is hosting an exhibition by award winning painter Julie Umerle.

She is one of London’s most outstanding contemporary abstract artists known for her innovative use of colour and space and her experimental approach to materials and process.

The Marriott’s innovative artist-in-residence programme facilitates encounters with exciting contemporary art. As Bertrand Dijoux, the Marriott’s manager observed: “The gallery space adds yet another dimension to our hotels' offerings. In addition to infusing every gathering with an element of glamour, it brings a little bit of London's iconic culture within our walls for a truly original experience.”

Umerle will be resident artist for a year and during that time she will exhibit a series of paintings which will enhance the experience of guests and visitors alike. In this collection of work, colour and space are used to dramatic effect. Umerle commented: “I am delighted to be chosen by the London Marriott as artist-in-residence. I look forward to collaborating with them on this exciting project and reaching a new audience with my work.”

London Marriott West India Quay
22 Hertsmere Road
West India Quay
Canary Wharf
London E14 4ED

For further information, contact Bertrand Dijoux, General Manager, Marriott West India Quay,, Tel: +44 (0) 207 093 1000

Thursday, 20 July 2017

14th Street Studios : My First Studio in New York City

14th Street, NYC

"Two dogs, a cat and an iguana (the landlord's pets) also resided in the studios on 14th Street, alongside the working artists. Marijuana plants grew in pots on the windowsill of my space.

It was a rather chaotic atmosphere, controlled by the presence of the landlord who lived on the premises with his wife. Many of the other artists who worked at the studios didn't come in until late afternoon or the evening so I usually had the space to myself during the day.

The studios were just a few blocks away from Union Square and close to the Meat Packing district, which was fast becoming a hotspot for artists with new galleries springing up all the time.

If the weather was fine, I'd walk down to the studios in the morning; if it was raining, I'd take the bus. At lunchtime, sometimes I'd go into one of the nearby lounges to buy coffee and bagels and watch the TV, relaxing on big velvet sofas.

It was the time of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and I clearly remember Bill Clinton's impeachment proceedings being played out on the big screen in the bar.“

Excerpt from 'Art, Life and Everything', (unpublished memoir) by Julie Umerle, edited by Anna McNay.

To read further excerpts from my memoir, please see:

Copyright © Julie Umerle

'Strange Attractor'

'Strange Attractor'. Oil/acrylic on canvas. 60 x 72 in.
© Julie Umerle
"In the 'Strange Attractor' paintings I had been working on up that point, the trail of the brush mark would almost disappear among accumulated layers of paint.

Yet when I hung one of my unfinished paintings at the end of the studio and looked at it from a distance, I saw something that looked rather like a horizon at the top of the canvas where I had pulled the brush. So I decided to keep that mark in the painting rather than allowing it to be lost in subsequent layers. This completely changed the space in the work.

The first paintings I made in my new studio, entitled 'Falling Slowly', explored that idea. I also changed my medium and began to use acrylic paint on its own rather than the mix of oil and acrylic that I had been using in recent years. By changing the materials I worked with, I found that the surface also changed."

Excerpt from 'Art, Life and Everything', (unpublished memoir) by Julie Umerle, edited by Anna McNay.

To read further excerpts from my memoir, please see:

Copyright © Julie Umerle

Friday, 14 July 2017

Meeting Robert Ryman

Robert Ryman

"Ryman was very unassuming, with a quiet authority. He introduced himself as Bob, shaking me by the hand as he entered my studio. He wore a suit and a pair of very cool spectacles. He was kindly and extremely modest and wanted each student to do their best whether their work was to his taste or not.

In his crit with me, Ryman talked about the value of looking at paintings in different lights (both natural and artificial) and how the interior light in a painting is very important - think how Rothko's paintings have light of their own.

Immediately upon entering my studio, Ryman asked me to turn off the spotlights so we could view my work in natural light. He observed that I already knew how to use horizontals and verticals in my compositions, and commented that he thought I would do well in New York.

He laughed when I told him one of my paintings was called 'Creep' and said I shouldn't give emotional titles to unemotional paintings. That is something I have tried never to do again."

Excerpt from 'Art, Life and Everything' (unpublished memoir) by Julie Umerle, edited by Anna McNay.

To read further excerpts from my memoir, please see:

Copyright © Julie Umerle

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

'Rewind Triptych' at APT Gallery

Delighted to exhibit my painting 'Rewind Triptych' at APT Gallery in London this summer!

'Rewind Triptych' installed as part of Creekside Open (selected by Alison Wilding)
APT Gallery, Deptford, London
8 June - 2 July 2017

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

'Ten Years of Painting' at The Barbican

"My solo show at The Barbican 'Ten Years of Painting' included two large works on paper made in my last year at art school in Cornwall, alongside a range of more recent paintings and a series of charcoal and pastel works made in London. Through this exhibition I was able to identify precise developments and observe subtle shifts in my progress. It was useful to have that moment of detachment and see my paintings exhibited outside of the studio in an entirely different context. I usually showed my paintings in alternative settings but this exhibition was quite different and very mainstream.

The private view was rather formal within the corporate surroundings of The Barbican. The bar attendant, in her uniform of black and white, dispensed drinks from a table covered by a crisp white linen cloth. The guests who came to the private view, perhaps bemused by their surroundings, sipped wine from tall stemmed glasses, talking quietly to each other.

This survey of my paintings came at a timely point in my career. I realised just how hard I had worked over those ten years and how much time and effort I had invested in my paintings. I could only hope that at last I had made a breakthrough."

Excerpt from 'Art, Life and Everything' (unpublished memoir) by Julie Umerle, edited by Anna McNay.

To read further excerpts from my memoir, please see:

Copyright © Julie Umerle