Rising to prominence in the early 1980s, Julia Wachtel's (b. 1956) artistic practice focuses on the visual language of mass culture. Like her Pictures Generation counterparts, Wachtel's work in the early 1980s appropriated popular imagery to critique an increasingly media-saturated society. Wachtel has continued to replicate, manipulate, and juxtapose images in ways that can be unsettling to the viewer. More recently, her use of newspaper and magazine photographs has given way to imagery now culled mostly from the Internet, today's all-pervasive media engine. This catalogue is the first publication to survey Wachtel's career, and features 40 color plates of works from the 1980s through today, as well as an insightful overview by curator Reto Thuring, an essay by poet and critic Quinn Latimer, and a conversation between Wachtel and curator Johanna Burton.
Reto Thuring is associate curator of contemporary art at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Johanna Burton is Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement at the New Museum, New York. Quinn Latimer is an American poet and critic based in Basel, Switzerland.