Julie Umerle

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Julie Umerle
Julie Umerle. Artist portrait. 2004
Julie Umerle

NationalityBritish, American
EducationFalmouth University
Parsons The New School for Design
Known forPainting

Julie Umerle is an American-born abstract painter who lives and works in London.


Umerle was born in Connecticut USA and relocated to London with her family as a young child.[1]

She studied French Literature at the University of Sussex and fine art at Falmouth University where she was awarded a First class Hons degree.[2] From 1991 - 1996, Umerle worked as an artist educator at a number of London galleries including The Whitechapel Gallery,[3] The Hayward Gallery and The Royal Academy.[4] She graduated from Parsons The New School for Design with a MFA in 1998; then lived and worked between London and New York for a further five years after completing her studies, before returning to the UK and settling again in London in 2003.


Julie Umerle. Installation view of the exhibition 'Cosmos or Chaos' at studio1.1, London. 2010
Julie Umerle. Eclipse, 2000.
20 x 18 inches. Oil and acrylic on canvas

Umerle has exhibited widely in London and the UK in solo and group exhibitions, and also internationally including USA, China, France and Germany.

In 1980, she held her first solo exhibition at a squat in Frestonia's Car Breaker Gallery in London[5] followed a few years later by 'Ten Years of Painting' at The Barbican Arts Centre.[6]

Herbert Art Gallery and Museum hosted Umerle’s first UK solo museum exhibition in 1995 including works such as Paragon, Flock and Wrap.[7]

Group exhibitions include shows at Royal Academy of Arts, Flowers Gallery, Maidstone Museum & Art Gallery, Huddersfield Art Gallery, Jiangsu Art Gallery and Metro Pictures Gallery.[8] Recent solo exhibitions include 'Rewind' at Bermondsey Project Space, London (2016) [9][10] and 'Cosmos or Chaos' at studio1.1, London (2010).[11]


Umerle makes work that explores the materiality of paint and the processes of abstract painting.[12] Her practice is an investigation of materials and the perception of the image.[13] Engaged in a process that explores the act of painting itself, she works on a variety of supports.[14] Her paintings "exist at the meeting point of decision and accident",[15] making the viewer aware of the trail of the brush, the pressure of the artist's hand and the degree to which one mark can differ under varying circumstances, setting up conditions for chance and responding to the natural physicality of paint itself.

Of her work, British artist and art historian Simon Morley has written:

"Her paintings evoke a feeling of suspension, as if what we see is a held or frozen moment within an ongoing process. This sense of simplicity is achieved through an enormous process of condensation, resulting in a level of clarity and unity that permeates the work."[16]

Her paintings are held in public and private collections including The Deutsche Bank Collection, The Connaught, Madison Museum of Fine Art and Swindon Art Gallery.[17]


Umerle has been the recipient of four awards from Arts Council England (2005, 2007, 2008 and 2015), an award from the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation (2001) and an award from London Arts Board (1996).


  1. ^ "Axisweb artist of the Month: Abstract painter Julie Umerle on precision, chance and Gerhard Richter - Culture24". www.culture24.org.uk. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Falmouth University Alumni". Falmouth.ac.uk. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  3. ^ "Whitechapel Gallery Archive". Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Julie Umerle - Falmouth University". www.falmouth.ac.uk. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Carbreakers Gallery Poster » The Republic of Frestonia". www.frestonia.org. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  6. ^ Wilder, Doreen (1 April 1988). "Julie Umerle: Ten Years of Painting 1978-1988". Women Artists Slide Library Journal (22). Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Julie Umerle : Recent Paintings". Worldcat.org. Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  8. ^ "Julie Umerle : Biography". www.julieumerle.com. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Julie Umerle. Rewind". 29 July 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Julie Umerle. Rewind". Art Bermondsey Project Space. Retrieved 2018-01-06.
  11. ^ "Julie Umerle. Cosmos or Chaos". studio1.1. Retrieved 2018-01-06.
  12. ^ Artimage. Julie Umerle on abstract painting. 2016
  13. ^ "Julie Umerle : Artimage". www.artimage.org.uk. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  14. ^ "The Drawing Center - Viewing Program - Julie Umerle". Drawingcenter.org. Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  15. ^ "JULIE UMERLE COSMOS OR CHAOS Through to January 24th 2010 - FAD Magazine". 6 January 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Julie Umerle : Cosmos or Chaos". Worldcat.org. Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  17. ^ "ArtUK". ArtUK. Retrieved 2017-06-07.

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