Julia Wachtel


Painting and appropriation art had an uneasy relationship in the 1980s; Picture Generation artists, from David Salle to Sherrie Levine, faced critical detractors when they picked up the brush. Julia Wachtel, a New York painter born in 1956, came of age with the appropriationists, but until recently her multi-panel compositions of found photographic images juxtaposed with cartoons and prehistoric icons have remained relatively obscure. On the heels of her recent survey at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Wachtel’s first solo exhibition at Elizabeth Dee, “Empowerment,” includes a handful of new works employing her signature technique. Highlights include Spirit, a canvas combining a waving shot of Hillary Clinton with hand-painted pictures of fertility goddess, and Stripe, a filmstrip styled composition of cartoons of dictator Kim Jong Un and Korean pop star Psy with pictures of their human counterparts.