Julia Kalkbrenner is a contemporary German painter, currently living in northern California. Born in Brussels/Belgium, she grew up in Germany and the United States.

Julia graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989, and moved back to Germany where she spent the following twenty two years, first working as a commercial photographer before committing herself to full-time painting in 1993.

1998 marked Julia’s initial trip to the US South West when “things in my studio back in Germany weren’t coming together anymore. It marked the end of a five year stretch of continuous painting and I felt deeply drained. I decided that it was time to lose myself in a place that I had wanted to visit for many years.”

This journey marked the beginning of her fascination for a region that allowed her to see true colors for the first time. “Not only did these clear, clean primaries like I had never experienced open my eyes, but what really woke me up was the sense of space I was surrounded by. It was totally void of visual clutter. And there was so much sky!” Numerous long term study periods in the high desert regions of New Mexico followed, in addition to an Artist-in-Residency at Gallery 408 in Carrizozo, New Mexico. Her travels to northern Africa and Australia complemented Julia’s studies of light, color and space, yet New Mexico’s influence on her work remains strongest and unprecedented to this day.

Julia’s work can be found in private and corporate collections throughout Europe and the United States.


Artist statement

Over the 30 years that I have been painting, I’ve explored a very wide range of painting styles, engaging in the continuous search for how to best express the world I perceive, inside and out. Moving between impressionistic form and expressive gesture through color and application, my work represents extracts of my reality – a reality nurtured by inner dialog and endless observation of light, color, shape and composition.