Julia Gutman is a multidisciplinary artist living and working on unceded Gadigal Land (Sydney, Australia). Gutman reuses found textiles to produce ‘patchworks’ that merge personal and collective histories with canonical paintings to explore themes of femininity, intimacy and memory.

Selected Works
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Julia Gutman Everyone You Are Looking at is Also You, 2024.
Installation view, Sullivan+Strumpf, Naarm/Melbourne. Photography by Christian Capurro.

Once More with Feeling 2022

donated textiles and embroidery, metal chain
222 × 230 cm

The black jeans 2021

donated textiles and embroidery
128 × 170 cm

Head in the sky, feet on the ground 2023

oil paint, found textiles and embroidery on canvas
198 × 213 cm

All Adults Here 2022

donated textiles and embroidery, metal chain
205 × 262 cm

No one Told Me the Shadows Could Be So Bright 2020

clothes worn and forgotten by Gutman’s friends, found tablecloths, wire, thread, wooden frame, industrial chains
160 × 100 cm, 140 × 100 cm

Haecceity, or the Aboutness of a Thing 2023

donated textiles on stretched linen
103 × 123 cm

Isn’t it all just a long conversation? 2022

donated textiles, embroidery and chains
310 × 935 cm

Available Works
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Julia Gutman


Lives and works on Gadigal Land/Sydney, Australia
Born 1993

Julia Gutman is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice is anchored by an experimental textile process, with which she interrogates her own relationships and the performance of selfhood.

Her figurative works are made primarily from donated fabric – worn clothes, slept-in sheets – and often replicate compositional moments from historical artworks, using her friends as models to respond to and reinvent the originals. Garments often become physical artifacts of the past – stand-ins for those we have lost, or relics of who we once were. In this sense, Gutman works with the textures of memory, using found textiles as a vehicle for connection and collaboration.

While Gutman’s process is labour intensive, it is not precious; edges are rough, seams are wonky and images are frayed all over. Her mode of sewing is at once tender and aggressive. She brings together disparate things in an act of ‘mending’, but violently punctures and rips the materials in order to do so. Not a seamstress in the traditional sense, her process is much like painting. The stories of the materials intertwine with the imagery to create a layered narrative.

In May 2023, Gutman was awarded the Archibald prize, making her the youngest winner in 85 years. She was one of six exhibiting artists in Primavera at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in 2022. She was a finalist in the 2021 Ramsay Prize at the Art Gallery of South Australia and the 2020 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship at Artspace Sydney.

Her work has been exhibited across Australia and internationally in Rome, Milan and New York.

Photography by Magdalene Shapter

Sullivan+Strumpf acknowledge the Indigenous People of this land, the traditional custodians on whose Country we work, live and learn. We pay respect to Elders, past and present, and recognise their continued connection to culture, land, waters and community.

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