I used this term two weeks ago when describing a C. Jeré nailhead sculpture.
It came to mind last night while viewing the current exhibit at Hemphill Fine Arts in
DC. Julie Wolfe’s work includes paintings, prints and sculptures. And her name suits
her work – it’s often a juxtaposition of loveliness and peril. Creative tension is a concept
that I always find intriguing in art and design. Beauty is so much more interesting when its
twisted on its head; you really see it up against something dark. Ms. Wolfe's work incorporates
colorful, organic images alongside macabre symbols of death and violence. The contrast enlivens
the sweet and exuberant while crystallizing the dark yet inevitable. A metaphorical viewpoint for
life itself. See Hemphill’s press release below for more on this dynamic, enigmatic artist.
Who conquers whom in the battle between life and death?
The juxtaposition of flourishing life with lurking death in Julie
Wolfe's artwork addresses the artist's preoccupation with
corruptive elements that challenge the strength of nature.
Wolfe's imagery reveals the interconnectedness of life and
death, demonstrating their unavoidable coexistence. However
powerful, these formidable renderings are intentionally covert.
Not only does Wolfe subtly incorporate sinister creatures and
violent symbols, but she succeeds in making them beautiful. Her
artwork parallels the intersections between beauty and violence
that exist within and across cultures. Through her artwork, Wolfe
blurs the lines between good and evil, tranquility and violence
and decay and regeneration, portraying these forces as less
antagonistic and more interconnected than their definitions suggest.
La Frontera, 2010
multiple-color silkscreen on Arches paper with glass beads
30 1/4” x 30 1/4”
oil, graphite, glass shards and sterling silver on wood panel
30 x 30
Foraging Series II, 2010
oil, graphite, and glass shards on canvas
72" x 60"
glass enamel on copper, encaustic, wood and oil on wood panel
24" x 24"
This vignette of four Wolfe pieces was incredible:
Ambigram IV and Ambigram V, 2010
mixed media on glass
9 3/8” x 7”
The Wind Cries Mary, 2010
knuckle ring on sterling silver and alabaster stand
18K yellow gold, sterling sliver, opals and yellow sapphires
Skull & Sword, 2010
bronze skull set with garnets
18K yellow gold hammered chain
18K yellow gold eucalyptus pod
sword in 18K gold, sterling silver, set with opal
I’m wearing a Wolfe Knuckle Ring as necklace today.
I think this may be my new favorite accessory.
Julie Wolfe’s exhibit will run through December 23. It’s worth a stop. George
Hemphill and his staff are a joy to work with whether you are new to the art world
or if you would like to add to an existing collection. A Huntley & Co. favorite!
Hemphill Fine Arts
1515 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
* First 4 images provided by the artist/Hemphill.