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Check out Julika Lackner’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julika Lackner.

Julika, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1980, when Berlin was still divided into east and west.

My mom is German, and my dad is American, although his parents had emigrated to the US in the late 1930s because of the war. My grandfather had fled Germany, being Jewish, an outspoken writer against the National Socialist regime, and a collector of what was considered Degenerate Art. Luckily he was able to make it out in time, and settled in Santa Barbara when it was a tiny little community. He collected Max Beckmann’s artwork, and so in my family, I grew up with art being of utmost importance. I grew up in Berlin, and then we moved to Santa Barbara when I was nine, but we went back and forth a lot. I went to UCSB for undergrad, studying Art and Art History, with the amazing painters Jane Callister and Larry Gipe, and then I finished up with a year in Berlin, at the Freie Universität. I stayed for a few years after that, until coming back to Southern California for graduate school in 2004, where I got my MFA at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 2006. I worked with Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe and Diana Thater, as well as many others. Life changer. Since then, I’ve been working as an artist in LA. My studio is in Eagle Rock.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I make paintings. Oil and acrylic on paper, often using silver or gold leaf as a reflective element which brings the natural light back into the work. I often start with watercolors to work out my ideas, and they become quite elaborate, and then I make oil or acrylic paintings from those ideas. In my “Linear Landscapes” series, my emphasis has been in landscape painting with a bent towards abstraction because my true interest lies in how we see color, light, and atmosphere. I started by painting very representational oil painting, capturing the Berlin subway stations, focusing primarily on how the artificial light abstracts the space. When I moved to Los Angeles to go to graduate school at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, the night sky became the dome against which the artificial lights were producing optical phenomenon. Through that, I came to making cloud paintings on silver leaf, introducing an element of reflection into the work, that makes the work itself change depending on the time of day and lighting. In my “Spectral Phase” paintings, I tried to capture the motion of water as seen from above and in an abstract way through small oval markings, color bands, and diaphanous layers. I experiment a lot with shapes and colors and have lately been making smaller oil on panel paintings, comprised of geometric shapes that echo circles and pyramids. There is an inherent power in that primal image, of the sun rising or setting over a mountain, and it gives endless possibility to play with shapes and especially color for me. It’s all about how the color and their intensity work on the eye. I’m a huge fan of Joseph Albers and his wife Annie Albers, between his color work and her pattern work, that’s a huge inspiration for me.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
I think the biggest challenge facing artists today is to reassess older forms of art and find the curious pockets hiding between them and the forms of today. To delve into something possibly ineffable but worth investigating regardless of the outcome.

My advice to other artists is to stay focused and true to yourself and your vision. Keep it interesting and engaging for yourself and don’t follow trends. They come, and they go. It’s much more important to have a body of work that you’re proud of and can stand behind.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I’ve shown with Mandarin Gallery in Chinatown, MiM gallery in Culver City, and many others throughout Southern California. Right now, I show with Curatorial Hub, which is an online gallery run by Bettina Hubby, which has pop up events throughout the city ( I will also have a show at Annie Wharton’s space Ladies’ Room, in the Bendix Building downtown LA next year. I also sell prints of some of my work through Society6.

My website is:, Instagram: @julikalacknerart


Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Peter Ellis – Portrait photo
Julika Lackner

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