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Julia Couzens has created distinct bodies of work in drawing, painting, sculpture, and text-based installation. Couzens initially gained recognition for her large-scale charcoal drawings. Exhibited at such institutions as the Butler Institute of American Art, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, and Hammer Museum, her intensely refined, suggestively Surrealist drawings, were equivocations on psychological space and ambiguous sexuality.
Since the early 2000’s Couzens’s textile-based constructions have taken shape between the disciplines of craft, abstract painting, and sculpture. Her hybrid forms are intuitively determined and reflect the imperfectly beautiful and unapologetically flawed. Couzens layers ruminations on painting, the expressive character of materiality, feminist critique, and cognitive uncertainty into speculative assemblages, seeking enchantment in a provisional world.
Recognized with a Louis Comfort Tiffany Fellowship in the Visual Arts; a Roswell Museum and Art Center Artist-in-Residence grant; and an Art Matters Visual Artist Fellowship, Couzens has shown in scores of museum and gallery exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally. In 2019 her work was featured in the international Cheongju Contemporary Craft Biennale, South Korea. Notable public collections include the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco; Berkeley Art Museum; Butler Institute of American Art; Crocker Art Museum; Manetti Shrem Museum of Art; Oakland Museum of California; Weatherspoon Art Museum; and Yale University Art Gallery. She has been a visiting artist at more than 30 institutions and her work has been reviewed in artpractical.com, Artweek, Flash Art, The Los Angeles Times, The New Art Examiner, San Francisco Chronicle, squarecylinder.com, and twocoatsofpaint.com.
Julia Couzens was born and raised in Auburn, California. She received her M.F.A. in 1990 from U.C. Davis. Influenced by her mother, who was the founding editor of the West Coast’s first publication dedicated to contemporary art, Couzens has written essays for artist catalogues and maintains the Patricia Sweetow Gallery blog. Her reviews have been published in The Sacramento Bee, Two Coats of Paint, and Ceramics: Art and Perception and squarecylinder.com.
Couzens currently divides her time between Merritt Island, outside the Sacramento River Delta community of Clarksburg and Los Angeles.