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At The Edge of Becoming

Galleri Maria Friis is very pleased to present a solo exhibition of work by Danish artist Julie Sass, titled At the Edge of Becoming. Sass will be showing new paintings, prints, and drawings, as well as fabric pieces. A small room in the rear of the gallery will serve as a sort of secret space for another group of paintings on black in keeping with the artist’s intention to create small enclaves, or “islands,” within the architecture of the gallery.

Over the past few years, Sass has been photographing street and other scenery in her Taking Notes series: the rough brick of a wall in Berlin; sunlight shimmering on a river; a tangle of tree trunks and plant roots. These observations are reflected in the artist’s mark-making and surfaces, which often seem to suggest aspects of graffiti or the grey concrete of a sidewalk or wall. Various qualities of light permeate these works, almost akin to an Impressionist’s recordings of different times of day. Alongside this exploration of place, Sass also investigates the concept of time, in part through how the works in the show — all from the past five years — relate to and enhance one another. She has spoken of the perception of time as circular as opposed to linear and has grouped the works in the show accordingly, in what she calls “clusters” that speak not only to each other but to their surroundings. Through this sort of styling, Sass is emphasizing a more complete way of seeing in which being and becoming can not only coexist but actually complement each other.

Sass has often used the word “flux” when speaking about her work, as if a full resolution might in fact be an impossibility, or simply a less important consideration in their making. As with the things we observe from day to day, change is the only certainty. Her 2023 painting Flow, and Its Other, composed primarily of blues, greys, and whites, conjures the ebb and flow of water, its striking white diagonal serving as the only indicator of stability. This fluidity is echoed throughout the works in the show; as the title indicates, nothing is fully formed but rather in a constant state of “becoming.”

– Amanda Church, artist, NYC

Julie Sass (b. 1971, Denmark) studied at The Royal Danish Academy of Art and at New York University (MFA). She is a Fulbright Scholar and has an MA in Theory & Mediation from The Royal Danish Academy of Art. Her work is in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, U.S., and the New Carlsberg Foundation, DK, among others. Sass spent eight years in New York, and her connection with the American art scene materialized into several exhibitions and collaborations at Critical Practices, Inc., Pierogi Gallery, Fiendish Plots, and Flat File. In 2014, she was artist-in-residence at ÁREA: lugar de proyectos in Puerto Rico. Sass’s practice also extends to graphic work in collaboration with Steinprent in the Faroe Islands and Printer’s Proof in Copenhagen and to books in collaboration with Hurricane Publishing and RSS Press/SixtyEight Art Institute in Copenhagen. Sass has been nominated for the Queen Sonja Print Award and Årets Bedste Bogarbejde for her artist book VOLUME RHYTHM MATTER dialogues. In Denmark, she has had several exhibitions, commissions, and curatorial projects such as the exhibition A Brief History of Abstraction at Rønnebæksholm Exhibition Hall (DK), 2018.

The exhibition At the Edge of Becoming marks the start of Julie Sass’s representation by Galleri Maria Friis.