Julie Bozzi (American, b. 1943)
Hephaestus, 1989 oil on panel
signed and dated (lower right)
Provenance: Laura Carpenter Fine Art, Santa Fe
The frame is just the panel painted in a faux marble, trompe l'oeil technique.
Julie Bozzi (born 1943) is an American artist who is known for her landscape paintings. Bozzi currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas. Bozzi's art is in the permanent collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, The Brooklyn Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Smithsonian Museum), and the El Paso Museum of Art.
Bozzi was born in California and went to graduate school at the University of California, Davis. She also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. She began to paint en plein air in 1975. She later moved to Texas in 1980.
She is married to the artist Vernon Fisher.
Bozzi is known for her landscapes. She finds much of her inspiration for her landscape paintings during drives along interstate highways, country roads and city streets across the United States. She uses her steering wheel as her easel and paints with a variety of media including oil, watercolor and gouache on different types of surfaces. Bozzi's interpretation of landscape is non-traditional and the natural world she paints is "dehumanized" and "collected" like a specimen. Elements of pop art, Americana and tromp l'oeil, including this one with faux framing, are all present in her work. Another reviewer, Paul Richard, compared her "clinical detachment and attention to the seen" as qualities that would have "pleased John Ruskin." The sense of collecting the landscape and her attention to detail has been attributed to her working as a laboratory assistant and scientific illustrator at Stanford University. Her paintings are rarely larger than four by ten inches and she prefers a somber palette. Her landscape choices are often considered unusual and can be anything from a "desolate strip of land along a highway to rubble from a freshly dug grave in a cemetery." These often overlooked areas of the American landscape is brought to life through Bozzi's "interplay of light and color."
Bozzi is also known for her food art. These pieces are preserved or reproduced food items using wood, plaster, paint and clay which have been "enshrined beneath glass." Bozzi also paints realistic images of foods, such as doughnuts and pan de muerto. (ala Wayne Thiebaud) Bozzi's interpretation of landscape is non-traditional and the natural world she paints is "dehumanized" and "collected" like a specimen. Her paintings are rarely larger than four by ten inches and she prefers a somber palette, and her subjects can be anything from a desolate strip of land along a highway to rubble from a freshly dug grave in a cemetery.
Her landscapes reflect the acute objectivity of her own time. As she matured as an artist in the 1970s, Minimalism was in full force. Bozzi was clearly influenced by elements within the movement, applying some Minimalist characteristics to representational objects. Her non-hierarchical compositions, stripped down colors and the frontality of her pictorial field relate specifically to minimalist sculpture and can be seen in almost all of her works. Bozzi's imagery is also an eccentric synthesis of post-war portrayals of the American landscape. The early twentieth century Ashcan school created politically charged urban scenes with an imagery that acknowledged social problems. Artists involved with the Ashcan school, such as Arthur B. Davies, Robert Henri, and John Sloan, depicted, much to the distaste of their critics, scenes such as the alley ways and slumns of inner city dwellings. In the 1930s and 1940s, nationalism resurfaced with the Regionalists, who celebrated the American lifestyle by depicting rural scenes in a concise manner, among them, Grant Wood, John Steuart Curry and Thomas Hart Benton. Bozzi, by her use of urban sites that appear rural, might be seen as creating gentler versions of these two extremes. However, more so than with the Ashcan school or the Regionalists, Bozzi's work pays homage to the influential American painter, Edward Hopper, who was painting at the same time as Benton and the Regionalists, but on the opposite end of the landscape spectrum. Bozzi's work is more scaled-down and condensed, but both artists depict a straightforward, sober American landscape without epic markers or glorifications.
Bozzi has participated in numerous solo exhibitions, including shows at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the El Paso Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. Select group exhibitions include The Meadows Museum, Dallas, TX, The Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The New Museum, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Many notable institutions have collected Bozzi’s work, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., the Dallas Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Bozzi’s accolades include the Award in Painting from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation in 1981, an Individual Artist’s Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1989, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2005, and the Dozier Travel Grant from the Dallas Museum of Art in 2017.