Julia Bland, Winter, 2015. Linen, wool, canvas, velvet, ink, bleach, and oil paint, 87 x 85 x 3 in.

Julia Bland

New York

On Stellar Rays

Keep an eye on Julia Bland. Her exhibition, “If You Want to Be Free,” featured six large “tapestries” that are (more accurately stated) multimedia, textile-based constructions. Each one unfolds an intricate weave of complex dualities: simple geometric elements evolve into variegated com­­positions of seemingly mismatched swaths of material; a reverence for the traditions of drawing, painting, weaving, sewing, and sculpture gently shifts to allow irreverent trespasses across formal borders. Bland’s search for new approaches to abstraction has led her to places such as Morocco where, in 2008, she studied Islamic art while on a Rhode Island School of Design fellowship. There, she found meandering arabesques ubiquitously commandeering surfaces as diverse as mosaic floor tiles and intricately carved architectural façades—a smorgasbord of possibilities that clearly emboldened her to meander through art with an abandon of her own. . …see the entire review in the print version of April’s Sculpture magazine.