Julie Ault

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Julie Ault
Born1957 (age 61–62)
Alma materHunter College
Known forCollaborative artist, curator
Spouse(s)Andres Serrano (m. 1980, div. unknown)
AwardsMacArthur Foundation Fellowship, 2018

Julie Ault (born 1957) is an American artist, curator, and editor who was a cofounder of Group Material, a New York-based artists' collaborative that has produced over fifty exhibitions and public projects exploring relationships between politics and aesthetics.[1] She was awarded a MacArthur Fellows Program grant, commonly referred to as a MacArthur Genius Grant, in 2018 in recognition for her achievements "redefining the role of the artwork and the artist by melding artistic, curatorial, archival, editorial, and activist practices into a new form of cultural production."[2]

Artistic practice[edit]

As an artist, Ault works both individually and collaboratively with the artist Martin Beck for their contextual research projects. Their method can be regarded as an extended form of cultural praxis deriving from a general interest in the conservation and presentation of knowledge and culture. It questions the ways cultural economies present themselves, the conditional changes they undergo and to what extent they initiate a potential move. It is questions like: How does the presentation of history and the past shape the image of the present? Which aspects of cultural practices are (deliberately) kept in the shadows of official historiography and why?

Ault's and Beck's projects have been exhibited internationally, including the show Installation at Secession (Vienna, 2006), Social Landscape at the Weatherspoon Art Museum (Greensboro, NC, 2004) and Outdoor Systems, indoor distribution at the Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin, 2000. They also produce exhibition designs, most recently for X–Screen: Film Installations and Actions of the 1960s and 1970s at mumok - The Museum Moderner Kunst in Vienna Austria, 2003.


Recently, Ault has edited several books on arts and artists, with a specific focus on the New York City art scene of the 1980s and 1990s. Her most recent books include a monograph she edited on the work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres and a major publication on the art of Sister Corita, which received an extensive review on the group blog Design Observer.

Education and teaching activities[edit]

Julie Ault earned a B.A. from Hunter College of the City University of New York in 1995, and a Ph.D. from the Malmö Art Academy of Lund University in 2011.[3]

She has taught at the École Supérieure d'Art Visuel in Geneva, UCLA, the Rhode Island School of Design, CalArts, the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture, Malmo Art Academy at Lund University, and the Cooper Union. In 2006–07 she taught at the Jutland Art Academy in Århus, Denmark by way of DIVA, the Danish International Visual Art Exchange Program.

Personal life[edit]

Ault married photographer Andres Serrano in December, 1980.[4] They divorced at an unknown point; Serrano referenced Ault as his "first wife" in a 2012 interview where he mentioned his current wife Irina Movmyga.[5] Ault was born in Boston, MA. She currently lives and works in New York, NY and Joshua Tree, CA.[6]


Martin Wong, Press Release for Semaphore Gallery, 1984. Featured in Ault's Afterlife and photographed at Buchholz Galerie in December 2015, New York.
  • "Afterlife: a constellation", Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, 2014
  • "Macho Man Tell It To My Heart: Collected by Julie Ault", Artists Space, New York, NY, 2013
  • Installation, Secession, Vienna, 2006
  • Information, Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, NY, 2006
  • Old News, LACE – Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA, 2005
  • Points of Entry, for the City University of New York (CUNY), Queens, New York, 2004
  • A Small Look at Giganticism, 2004
  • Social Landscape, at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC, 2004
  • Outdoor Systems, indoor distribution at the Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin, 2000
  • Billboard: Art on the Road, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art – MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA, 1999


  • Show and Tell: A Chronicle of Group Material, Four Corners Books, 2010.
  • Come Alive: The Spirited Art of Sister Corita, Four Corners Books, 2006.
  • Felix Gonzalez-Torres, steidldangin, 2006.
  • Cerith Wyn Evans: Cerith Wyn Evans, Lukas & Sternberg, 2004.
  • Critical Condition: Selected Texts in Dialogue, together with Martin Beck, Zollverein | Zeitgenössische Kunst und Kritik, 2003.
  • Alternative Art New York, 1965–1985, University of Minnesota Press, 2002.
  • Art Matters : How the Culture Wars Changed America, New York Univ Press, 2000.


  1. ^ Julie Ault, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2006, archived from the original on June 26, 2013, retrieved April 9, 2013
  2. ^ "Julie Ault - MacArthur Foundation". www.macfound.org. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  3. ^ "Julie Ault - MacArthur Foundation". www.macfound.org. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  4. ^ Evans, executive editor: Martin Marix (1995). Contemporary photographers (3. ed.). Detroit: St. James Press. p. 1013. ISBN 1558621903.
  5. ^ "Meet the photographer: Andres Serrano". Musee. Archived from the original on January 9, 2016. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
  6. ^ "Julie Ault". whitney.org.

External links[edit]