Overview

b. Kalamazoo, MI; Lives and works in Philadelphia, PA
Julia Clift’s practice uses collage, painting and drawing to analyse and raise questions about Contemporary America.  As an artist, educator and writer, Clift explores the history of abstraction as a socially and politically engaged art form while investigating the potential utility of beauty within contemporary art.  Her recent paintings are a focused study on the contemporary and historical conceptions of landscape, highlighting that any physical landscape is inscribed with aesthetic, ecological and socio-political dimensions.  Her unique interpretation accentuates the duality of the American landscape specifically, at once a beloved homeland and a fragmented, disorienting place on the verge of capitalist dystopia.  Clift’s paintings celebrate the fact that abstract paintings can be utopic and escapist by proposing alternative logics, instinctively optimistic by providing a sense of possibility and discovery through painterly invention.


Julia Clift has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, including solo exhibitions at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University (2021), the University City Arts League in Philadelphia (2017), the Fleisher Art Memorial (2016) and Artspace in Raleigh, NC (2012).  She has participated in group exhibitions at The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia (2020), NoBA Artspaces (2019), the FMC Tower in Philadelphia (2017), the Arnot Art Museum (2017), the Green Hill Center for NC Art in Greensboro (2012), the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts (2011), the Benton House in Chicago (2010) and the Telemarksgalleriet in Norway (2009), to name a few.  She graduated with a BFA in Painting and English from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009 and with an MFA in Painting from the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University in 2020.  Clift was selected for the Fred and Naomi Hazell Faculty Fellowship (Fleisher Art Memorial, 2016), the Alfred and Trafford Klots International Program for Artists (Maryland Institute College of Art, 2013) and the Regional Emerging Artist Residency at Artspace (Raleigh, NC, 2011).  She has previously taught at the Rose Tree Media Academy in Delaware County and the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, and currently holds teaching positions at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, the Maryland Institute College of Art and Thomas Jefferson University where she co-created the Visualizing Anatomy program for first year medical students.   She was the recipient of the Visual Arts Grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund (2015), and the Hazel H. Huntsinger Memorial Prize in Paintings (2009) and the Sorger Award (2006), both from the Washington University in St. Louis.  Her artwork is in the permanent collection of the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, NY.

Exhibitions
Works