Julie Wolfe: Apophenia

At Printed Matter Chelsea
May 25, 2023

Join us for the launch of Julie Wolfe’s Apophenia at Printed Matter Chelsea. Wolfe’s book taps into the optical unconscious to reveal something essential about perception. Through juxtaposing images across the pages, patterns emerge through free association, unleashing apophenia—the process by which humans make meaning out of incidental images.

Over the decades, Wolfe has developed an archive of photographs, artwork and found objects that are organized in series. Throughout Apophenia, images are pulled apart from one another and placed in new configurations that inspire wonder and pose urgent questions.

The book has no explanatory text and is wide-ranging in terms of subject matter—dream imagery, unknown species, aggressive plant life, knitting instructions, design solutions, artwork and data suggesting strategies for repair and recycling. This conglomeration inspires wonder and poses urgent questions. How do dissonant objects and images relate to one another? How do we relate to them? What can we learn by looking askance, by interrogating the unknown, and by opening ourselves to the unconscious? Through this archaeology of form, the viewer is asked to consider the hidden visual systems at play, their deep history, and their afterlives.

APOPHENIA Press is an independent publishing imprint dedicated to the visual arts, art history and creative writing. The project aims to circulate artists making work about interrogating the unknown, the optical unconscious, hidden visual systems, perception, deep history and their afterlives.

Julie Wolfe is a Washington DC based artist and founder of Apophenia Press and is known for her large abstract paintings, drawings on book pages, artists books and site specific installations.

Her practice is rooted in gathering images and data to explore the world around us and, just as importantly, our interior lives, with the intent of guiding the viewer through richly conceived systems of color, form, and language that often serve as markers of time.

Julie Wolfe’s artists books can be found in the libraries of The National Gallery of Art, The National Museum of Women in the Arts and the New York Public Library. Her work is included in exhibitions and museum collections internationally, most recently at the Mark Rothko Art Museum in Latvia. Hyperallergic, ArtNews, BBC America, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and T Magazine have all featured her work or reviewed exhibitions.

Felicia Barr is a writer, artist, and video producer. She currently lives in Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD.

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