In the West Adams area…Band of Vices presents Blueprint, an exhibition of new paintings by New York-based artist Julia Rooney. The exhibition will remain on view through December 23, 2023.

In an era when paintings are routinely photographed for their consumption on Instagram, online viewing rooms, and websites, Rooney posits, “What if instead of being photographed, a painting could make its own photograph?”

Julia Rooney

This question forms the core of Rooney’s newest work. The artists explores this through her experimental manipulation of Bluescreen, a free-standing painting at the show’s center. As light passes through Bluescreen’s square cut-outs, the painting casts a gridded shadow on nearby surfaces. Rooney captures this shadow using the camera-less photographic technique of cyanotype. It is a kind of analogue photography first developed in the 1800s. To create her prints,Rooney starts by photosensitizes large sheets of fabric using iron salts. Then she lays these sheets down in Bluescreen’s shadow. At this point the sun’s UV rays hit the fabric. It turns a deep blue, where the fabric is cast in shadow, it remains white.

Physical variables such as the angle of Bluescreen’s shadow, wrinkles in the fabric, as well as the intensity of light cause variations in the photographic print. Viewers may gain insight into this process by scanning the QR code painting, Blueprint, displayed in the Gallery’s street-level window. Scanning this work—which is itself a cyanotype print—leads to a video which reveals its own making, and the process of cyanotype throughout.

Julia Rooney

Julia Rooney, BLUE PRINT, oil on canvas, 24×24, 2023

Hence, these photographic “offspring” of Bluescreen become the basis for the rest of the show’s paintings, installed more traditionally on the Gallery walls. Cutting, stitching, stretching, gluing, tinting, as well as bleaching are among the actions Rooney performs on the photographic prints as she transforms them into paintings.

On view: November 11, 2023 – December 23, 2023

What: Blueprint, Julia Rooney
Where: Band of Vices, 5351 W Adams Blvd., LA, 90016
Where: Running through December 23, 2023

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