Julia Clift: Cradle

11 March - 16 April 2022

Massey Klein Gallery is pleased to present Cradle, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Julia Clift. The exhibition will be on view from March 11 through April 16. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, March 12 from 4-7pm. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. For press inquiries or questions regarding works available, please email info@masseyklein.com.

Installation Views
Press release

Julia Clift's newest paintings included in Cradle interpret America as simultaneously a beloved homeland and a place falling apart at the seams. Her work stems from her research and lived experience in different regions of the United States, including Central Florida, the Midwest, North Carolina, and major East Coast cities. The artist uses bright, saturated colors found in neighborhood plants - from the vivid yellows of tulips and daffodils, to the electric pinks of a kanzan cherry blossom tree - to examine notions of naturalness and artificiality, and specifically, the relationship between ecology and consumer culture. Ultimately optimistic, these artworks emphasize reconstruction and imagine alternative logics, providing a sense of possibility and discovery through painterly invention.

“These paintings were all made while I was either pregnant or within the first year of my son’s life, and in the wake of my dad’s sudden, unexpected death. The paintings are steeped in thoughts about family, childhood, and how my son’s worldview is being shaped by growing up in this country.”

Clift paints from small collages composed of her own photographs, tourism advertisements, and color swatches. The imagery features personally significant places, such as Orlando, where she grew up, and suburban Philadelphia, where she currently lives. The artist combines realism, abstraction, and invention in her paintings as a method of exploring the fluid relationship between physical place and one’s mental landscape, allowing tensions and differences to exist while inevitably harmonizing within each painting. In this way, her compositions are intentionally fractured and disorienting, yet hopeful.  


Julia Clift has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, including solo exhibitions at Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University (2021), University City Arts League in Philadelphia, PA (2017), Fleisher Art Memorial (2016) and Artspace in Raleigh, NC (2012).  

Clift graduated with a BFA in Painting and English from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009 and with an MFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University in 2020. The artist 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 was the recipient of the Visual Arts Grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund (2015), and the Hazel H. Huntsinger Memorial Prize in Painting (2009) and the Sorger Award (2006), both from Washington University in St. Louis.  Her artwork is in the permanent collection of the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, NY.

Massey Klein Gallery is located at 124 Forsyth St. New York, NY 10002. Gallery hours are Thursday - Sunday 12pm-5pm.  To schedule a private viewing, email info@masseyklein.com. 

Virtual Exhibition