By ANTHONY HADEN-GUEST, February 2023
Julia Rooney’s show of paintings at Freight+Volume is both strong, and utterly of our Post-Postmodernist moment in that every single artwork in it has been constructed according to a different set of rules. Which is to say that acquiring a signature style, the longtime drive of a working artist, particularly early in their career, is out of the window. Which is just as the artist intended.
“One of the things that is often pushed on artists is to develop a stylistic language which is recognizable and frankly easier to market. I think that’s what it has a lot to do with,” Rooney said. “In this show particularly, I wanted every painting to operate on its own logic, The logic is the question of: how does an image get made? And I think we live in a time where images are so privileged as the way that we see, the way we consume. A painting is a very complex object. What’s so amazing about painting is that it resists being an image at the same time that it flirts with being an image. I hope my paintings can do that. But I want every painting to be different and to operate differently”.