Born in 1939 in Northern Germany, Rolf Julius first followed a classical training in Fine Arts.   
In the 1970s, he gradually discovered certain contemporary composers (in particular La Monte Young, at festivals and on the radio) and integrated sound into his first photographic pieces in 1975.
He then started getting more involved in acoustic performances that he created in very different contexts, outside (in the desert, in trees, on water, on facades of buildings, on window panes, etc.) as well as in closed spaces (galleries, museums, etc.).

Rolf Julius’ practice was based on a double approach, at the boundaries of visual art and musical creation.
As a sculptor, Rolf Julius was also a fully-fledged musician, creating electro-acoustic compositions, giving concerts and performances where improvisation often played an important part.

In the early 1980s, Rolf Julius had already laid the foundations for a body of work in which acoustic space was the priority, constantly looking to create a relationship with the space of the world, and nature.
The years 1983-1984 marked a significant moment in the artist’s life. He moved to New York, where he met most of the important artists and composers involved with the experimental avant-garde, namely John Cage, but also Takehisa Kosugi. His work, on returning to Europe, found a new audience. 
But it was in Japan that his work would be swiftly recognised and given an enthusiastic welcome: the role of void in the artist’s work was akin to this culture.

His practice is close to minimal art, insofar that the materials themselves have a meaning; Rolf Julius explained that a piece of iron and a piece of music represented the same thing for him.

“I create a musical space with my images. With my music, I create an illustrated space. Images and music are equal. They come in contact with the mind of the viewer and the listener and inside, something new comes of it.” (1)

Rolf Julius’ acoustic sculptures develop, through an economy of means, a discrete aesthetic at the limit of the visible and the audible.
“Delicate, poetic, Rolf Julius’ work doesn’t impose itself, it requires the viewer-listener’s great attention. Music is looked at. Pigments tremble, sand undulates, paper quivers, water shivers… One has to experiment the artworks. Go from one to the other, anticipating fragile and fascinating acoustic landscapes where technique, music, sounds, silence, and materials interpenetrate miniature electronic gardens.” (2)

Julius’s work was shown for the first time in France in 1980, in Paris (Ecouter par les yeux, ARC, Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris), then at the La Criée Art Centre in Rennes (1988). The artist has also been regularly exhibited in Grenoble (Broken Music, Le Magasin, 1989-1990), Lyon (Musique en scène, 1996), Dijon (FRAC Bourgogne, 2001) and Paris (Lara Vincy Gallery, 1997 and 2002) in solo shows, and in contemporary music festivals. The largest exhibition of his work was at the FRAC Limousin in 2003. His works appear in many public French collections.
His work has been represented by the gallery Thomas Bernard – Cortex Athletico since 2005. You can consult his complete archive on request.

(1)    Interview of Rolf Julius by Regina Coppola, excerpt from Large Black (red), University Gallery, Fine Art Center, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2001.
(2)    Cécile Broqua

Rolf Julius
1939, Wilhelmshaven - 2011, Berlin


EDUCATION
1969
M.F.A Fine Art school of Bremen and Berlin


SELECTED SOLO SHOWS

2017
Small Music and Slow Drawings, Claudia Delank, Berlin
Music in a Corner, early works,
Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - voir l'exposition ICI
Red (Inside), Centre d'art - Château Chasse-Spleen, Moulis en Médoc, France

2016
Musik ist überall. Werke 1979-2010. Förderkoje Junge Klangkunst
, Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven, Wilhelmshaven

2015
Music for the Eyes, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - exhibition views HERE
Unendlich, Kehrer galerie, Berlin
Rolf Julius, small music, Les Bains-Douches, Alençon
Lullaby for the fishes, Rumpsti Pumsti, Berlin

2014
Rolf Julius, L'orangerie des Musées de Sens, Sens

2013
Landscape, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE / Paris - exhibition views HERE

2012
Black listens to Red, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE
Rolf Julius, Les champs Magnétiques, Langon
Rolf Julius : A Room of Stillness, with e/static, Casa Rosso, Schierano

2011
Gray Music #1, e/static blank, Torino
Rolf Julius small music, Galerie Anselm Dreher, Berlin
Audiovisual arts, New York

2010
Under the surface, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE
TONSPUR 38, Tonspur Passage, Vienna
FIAC, Solo Show, Cour Carrée du Louvre & Jardin des Tuileries, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - exhibition views HERE

2009
Blue (Yellow), Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE
Rolf Julius - Distance, OBORO, Montreal

2008
Weiter entfernt (Musik für den Blick nach unten) Weserburg, Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen             
Galerie Beim Steinernen Kreuz, Bremen
Backstage, Galerie Anselm Dreher, Berlin
Music under your Feet - Diapason Gallery, Brooklyn

2007
Für den Blick nach unten, Kunstraum Potsdam
Island (Music for a Landscape), Maison de la culture de Bourges
Two Spaces (Walking), e/static, Turin
Moving, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE

2006
Sonoric Perspectives, Ystad Konstmuseum, Ystad
Galerie Anselm Dreher, Berlin
Grau schweigt, Museum Bochum, Bochum

2005
Rolf Julius, penombra, e/static, Turin
Hannah-Höch-Preis, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin

2004
Listen to Black, FRAC Languedoc-Roussillon, Montpellier
Music for a white Wall, Gelbe Musik, Berlin

2003
D II: Rolf Julius, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen
Galerie Anselm Dreher, Berlin
Music for the Eyes, Frac Limousin, Limoges
Musik für den Blick nach innen, VOXXX, Chemnitz

2002
Gallery 360°, Tokyo
Rolf Julius im Bauhaus Fischer, Wuppertal

2001
Frac Bourgogne, Dijon
Red - or how loud is black, Kunsthalle Fridericianum Kassel
Rolf Julius : Julius, e/static, Turin
Rolf Julius, Klanginstallationen, Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg
Musik für einen dunklen Raum und andere Arbeiten, Galerie Beim Steinernen Kreuz, Bremen

2000
Suermondt Ludwig Museum, Aachen
Galerie Lara Vincy, Paris
Black (Red), University Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Julius: Black listens to Red, Ystads Konstmuseum, Ystad
Schwarz (Rot), Galerie Rachel Haferkamp, Köln
Musik weit entfernt, Goethe Institut, Tokyo
Valley, Tenba-A Galerie, Nose, Osaka

1999
Galerie Anselm Dreher, Berlin
Black Listens to Red, Galerie Lara Vincy, Paris

1998
Musik für eine fast leeren Raum, Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Berlin
Echtgrün-hell - Sechs Klang Skulpturen 1988-1998 - Krypta 182 Kunstverein Bergisch Gladbach

1997
Galerie Lara Vincy, Paris
Black Listens to Red, Museum Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh

1996
Small Music (grau), Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken
Galerie Beim Steinernen Kreuz, Bremen
Less is more, Galerie Anselm Dreher, Berlin
Gelb (Blau Rot), Hagenbucher, Heilbronn

1995
Rolf Julius, Finkenberg collection, Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen
Tones spaces, Heidelberger Kunstverein

1994
Ilmaa, Air, Museum of Contemporary Art Helsinki
Museum Glaskasten, Marl
Music for an almost empty room, Kunstverein Bochum, Bochum
Black (Yellow), Galerie Anselm Dreher, Berlin

1993
Rolf Julius-new sounds works, Rosa Esman Gallery / Quint Krichman Projects, New York
Jan Turner gallery, Los Angeles
Black (Something yellow), Galerie Claudia Böer , Hannover
Small Music n°4 (grau), 360° gallery, Tokyo

1992
Flat Music, Quint Krichman Projects, San Diego
Material and space, Galerie Heimeshoff, Essen
Music for a long time, Xebec Hall, Kobe

1991
Wind, P3 art & environment, Tokyo
Rosa Esman Gallery/Quint Krichman Projects, New York
Art for Hamburg, Bärbel Schulz Gallery, Hamburg
Black Yellow, Niji art space, Kyoto
Goethe Institute, Belo Horizonte
Rolf Julius, Klanginstallationen - Kunsthalle Bremerhaven, Bremerhaven

1990
Gallery Boncz, Stuttgart
Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh
Music for a Blue Triangle, Bremerhavener Kunstverein, Bremerhaven

1988
Galeria di Grazia Terribile, Milan
Empty Music, Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh

1987
Anselm Dreher galerie, Berlin

1985
Small music n°2, Alternative Art Space, Monorail Ofuna Station, Yokohama

1984
Yellow music spot, Galerie Giannozzo, Berlin
Espace sonore -espace silencieux, Goethe Institut, Paris
Rolf Julius - Klanginstallationen - GAK - Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst e.V. Bremen

1983
Music for the ruins, Gallery Fashion Moda, New York
Laica, with Charles Moore, Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art
Music for the Eyes, Space WA, New York

1982
Galerie Giannozzo, Berlin
Music for the eyes, Vol sap, Amsterdam
Musik für ein Wand, Galerie Gruppe Grün, Bremen
Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg
Musik für ein Glasscheibe, edition-e, München
Musik für die Erde, Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven

1981
Galerie A, Amsterdam
Galerie Philomene Magers, München
Kunstverein Braunschweig

1980
Galerie Giannozzo, Berlin
Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf
Galerie Krebaum, Weinheim
Künstlerhaus, Hamburg

1978
Rückenaktion, Kulturfest Bremen and Kunstamt, Charlottenburg

1977
Foto-Körper-Ation, Kulturfest Bremen

1976
Galerie Giannozzo, Berlin
Rückenaktion, Kunstmesse, Bremen

1973
Katakombe, Basel
Galerie Gruppe Grün, Bremen

1972
Galerie Gruppe Grün, Bremen

1969
Neue Galerie, Lübeck

1967
Galerie Siegmundshof, Berlin


SELECTED GROUP SHOW

2018
A propos du Land Art, Salle des Bains douches, Bort-les-Orgues, France
Untitled (Monochrome) - 1957 - 2017,

Nature morte ou le préfixe conceptuel de l'art romantique
, Centre d'art Chasse Spleen, Moulis en Médoc, France (upcoming)
Sous l'ombre des vagues, la vie de Debussy, Maison natale de Debussy, Saint-germain-en-Laye, France

2017
Duo show small music and small drawings with works by Nanae Suzuki - Rolf Julius, Claudia Delank Gallery, Berlin.
Lamp ! A design Iconn in the light of art, Kiscelle Museum, Budapest, Hungary
Variations (sur un même thème),
Le Parvis - scène nationale Tarbes Pyrénées, Ibos, France
We set the tone. Music pictures from Mantegna to Matisse, Kupferstichkabinett , Berlin, Germany
Echelle de familiarité, Chapelle Saint-Libéral, Brive-la-Gaillarde, France
Where are Sounds?
, La Centrale, Brussels (upcoming)
Entre límites / Zwischen grenzen,
 Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (MACO), Oaxaca, Mexico (upcoming)

2016
Rolf Julius, Daniel Romero, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc,
hTH - Centre dramatique national de Montpellier, Domaine de Grammont, Montpellier
Gelbe Musik. Works, notes and photographs from the archive of Ursula Block
, Mathew Gallery, Berlin
Entre límites,
Ex Teresa Arte Actual, Mexico City
The Past is the Past, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - exhibition views HERE
Das Kaptial. Schuld - Territorium - Utopie, Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum fûr Gegenwart, Berlin
A Thousand Horsepower
, Can Trinxet Factory, Barcelona
La vie des oeuvres, Ecole supérieure des beaux-arts, Nîmes
Observations sonores, Musée Gassendi, Digne-les-Bains
Habile beauté - L'Art comme processus, FRAC Languedoc-Roussillon, Montpellier
KLANGKUNST - a german sound, Allgemeiner Konsumverein, Braunschweig
Sounding City. Sound of Silence, Festival van Vlaanderen Kortrijk, Kortrijk
Leuchte! Designikone im Licht der Kunst, Museum für Moderne Kunst Weserburg, Bremen
Zimmer mit Aussicht, Galerie Kehrer, Berlin

2015
Junge Sammlungen 03: Der Raum zwischen den Personen kann die Decke tragen. Sammlung Ivo Wessel, Museum für Moderne Kunst Weserburg, Bremen
Eye of Sound, The Empty Gallery, Hong Kong
Non la parola fine ma la fine della parole, Museo Ettore Fico, Torino
Standard International #2 Post Spatial Devices, Geisberg Berlin, Berlin
Fantômes dans la machine, oeuvres du Frac et de l'artothèque du Limousin, Frac Limousin, Limoges
Collezionare il futuro, 40 anni della collezione di Sergio Bertola, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce, Genoa
Une histoire. Art, architecture, design des années 1980 à nos jours, collection du Centre Pompidou, Paris
Space: The MOCAK Collection, Krakow Live Festival, Krakow
Eppur Si Muove (And yet it turns), MUDAM - Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg
Old songs new songs, e/static Blank, Turin

2014
Sèvres Outdoors, Cité de la céramique, Sèvres
Festival sonorités #10, Montpellier
Quelque chose à vous dire, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - exhibition views HERE
Sites & sound, Gesellschaft für Kunst und Gestaltung, Bonn
Franck Eon - Rolf Julius, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Art Brussels, Brussels - exhibition views HERE

2013
BIM ! BAM ! BOUM !, Galerie La Source, La Teste de Buch
The String and the Mirror, Lisa Cooley Fine Art, New York City
At the moment of being heard, South London Gallery, London
Refractive Distance, Art Exchange, University of Essex
La couleur du son, Capelle Saint Libéral, Brive
A hauteur d'oreille, Galerie MAD, Marseille
Le Grand Tout, les 30 ans du Frac Limousin, Frac Limousin, Limoges
Things he would like (1&2), Turin
Nina Canell. Rolf Julius. Lautlos., Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin

2012
INOUÏE, une exposition-concert pour harmonica et ensemble de percussions, À la mémoire de Rolf Julius, Frac Limousin, Limoges
Possible water, Goethe Institut ,Tokyo
Klangkunst - a german sound, Festival Soundbarrier, Vienna
Bis hier ... 50 Jahre Kunstverein Bochum, Kunstverein Bochum
Bin gleich zurück - Werke aus dem Besitz von Kunstvereinsmitgliedern, Kunstverein Bochum
Von Sinnen. Wahrnehmung in der zeitgenössischen Kunst, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Kiel
Julius and his resonance, with Akio Suzuki, Yohihiro Kawasaki, art space Niji, Kyoto
Rolf Julius and Nina Canell, Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin
Sound Art. Klang als Medium der Kunst, ZKM Karlsruhe
Maerzmusik Berlin
Small music / memories of Rolf Julius, Art Space Niji, Kyoto  
Symposium 7.4.,  Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art
My own private #2, The Snake, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris

2011
GSM - Geo Sound Map, Le Grand Café, Saint-Nazaire
SOUNDSEEING III - Klänge zum Angucken, Kunsthaus, Gravenhorst
Geometric Form Seen in Recent Sound, Gesellschaft für Kunst und Gestaltung e.V., Bonn
Lost Souds with Miki Yui, Sound Fjord, Cafe Oto, London
Land'Archéo, Conseil général des Landes, Abbaye d'Arthous
Il est si doux..., Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Château Giscours, Margaux - exhibition views HERE

2010
Matériaux divers et autres bonnes nouvelles, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE
Languages and Experimentations. Young artists in a contemporary collection, Mart, Rovereto
Setoushi international art festival, Setoushi
Klangi, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova museum, Turku
Ich Wicht, Kunstraum Potsdam, Potsdam

2009
Echigo-Tsumari Triennale, Japan
Music for a long time, e/static, Turin
Mutisme(s), Lieu commun - Espace d'art contemporain, Toulouse
Klang und Ton in der Gegenwartskunst, Burgrieden, Museum Villa Rot
Nantes estuaire, 2ème édition, Nantes
It rests by changing, Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milan
Die unsichtbare Hand, Zeitgenössische Zeichnung in der Sammlung der Städtischen Galerie Delmenhorst

2008
Lichtspuren, Museum Bochum
ParadiesGartenParadies, Stiftung Moritzburg, Kunstmuseum des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt
Collectors 2, La collectione Renato Alpegiani, Calaglio (Cuneo)
3D Sculptures, Frac Limousin, Limoges
PERMUTATIONS / 40 artistes, Le Musée de Valence, Valence
Un bruit qui court... - FRAC Languedoc-Roussilon, Montpellier
Looking Back: The White Columns Annual, White Columns, New York
Mattress Factory, The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh

2007
Noiseless, Akio Suzuki and Rolf Julius, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
25 Jahre - 25 Werke, Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl, Marl
COLLECTION Les incontournables, FRAC Limousin, Limoges

2006
Maerzmusik, Berlin
Sonambiente, Festival für hoeren und sehen, Akademie der Künste, Berlin
Berlin - Tokyo, Tokyo - Berlin, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
A noir, e blanc, i rouge, u vert, o bleu - Farben, Kunstmuseum Magdeburg, Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, Magdeburg
Découpage (f l), e/static, Turin
Lieben Frauen, Magdeburg

2005
Scultura leggera, Light Sculpture, Mulino
Rolf Julius + Franck Éon, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE
Interventionen, Sieben Kunststationen in Brandenburg, Rolf Julius, St.Petri-Kapelle, Brandenburg
Le Génie du lieu, Musée des beaux-arts, Dijon
Rolf Julius (collection Frac Languedoc-Roussilon), Salses-le-Chateau, chapelle Sainte-Cécile de Garrieux
Où sommes-nous ? - Paysages avec (ou sans) personnage(s), FRAC Limousin, Limoges
Fluxus und Freunde, Kunstmuseum Magdeburg, Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, Magdeburg

2004
Im toten winkel, Kunsthaus, Hamburg
Écoute, Centre Pompidou, Paris
Songbook 1-6, Maulwerker, Klangkunstfestival Köln
Deutscher Klangkunstpreis in Marl und Köln

2003
Al lado del silencio, Metrònom, Barcelona
no art - no city, Städtische Galerie im Buntentor, Bremen
Before and after sound, e/static, Turin
Gestes, poses, attitudes, FRAC Limousin, Limoges
Contemporary German Soundinstallations, Charlottenborg, Copenhagen
Conceptualismus, Akademie der Künste, Berlin
Donaueschinger Musiktage, Donaueschingen

2002
Festival escena contemporánea II, Madrid
Nits d'Aielo i d'Art, Aielo de Malferit
Primal Screams and Songs, Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami
Resonancen, Klangräume-Raumklänge, Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken
Inventionen, Berlin

2001
Visual sound, Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh
8.Triennale Kleinplastik - Triennale Kleinplastik Fellbach, Fellbach
Julius Waiting, Contemporary Installations to Exhibition ZEN: Painting and Calligraphy, 17th-20th Centuries, Asian Art Museum San Francisco
Rolf Julius - Michael Ross - FRAC - Bourgogne, Dijon
BrückenMusik VII - Kölner Gesellschaft für Neue Musik e.V. (KGNM), Köln

2000
Walking Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2000, Niigata
Minimal Affect - Selections from the Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami
Zen and western art, Museum Bochum
Recall to mind : Arnold Dreyblatt, Rolf Julius, Joseph Kosuth, Galerie Anselm Dreher, Berlin

1999
Pro Lidice, Museum Fridericianum Kassel
Den Raum ermessen, Bartholomäuskapelle, Diözesanmuseum Paderborn
Quint Contemporary Art, San Diego
The XX. Century, One Century Art in Germany, Neue National Galerie, Berlin
El espacio del sonido, Koldo Mitxelena, Donostia- San Sebastian
Über den Tellerrand - Galerie Claudia Böer, Hannover
Einer Wand zuhören, Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen
Neun mal Rot und Musik für den Blick auf das Wasser, Donaueschinger Musiktage

1998
Music for an Almost Empty Space, National Gallery in Hamburger Bahnhof
In between - Kunstagentur Karin Melchior, Kassel
Poussière (dust memories), Fonds régional d'art contemporain Bourgogne, Dijon
PICAF, Light of the New Millennium, International Exibition of Contemporary Art, Pusan
Musique en scène, Musée d'Art Contemporain, Lyon
Poussière (dust memories), FRAC Bretagne, Rennes
Galerie Heimeshoff, Essen
Galerie 360°, Tokyo

1997
One-Line Drawing, Ubu Gallery, New York, NY
La Part des anges, Galerie Art & Essai, Rennes

1996
Iron Flowers, Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh
Wulf Herzogenrath : Curators Choice No. 4, Goethe-House  New York (with Hans Otte)
Four Rooms, Golup, Huber, Julius, Wall, Albertinum, Dresden
Sonambiente festival, Akademie der Künste, Berlin
Massivfragil x Raum - Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen

1995
4th International Istanbul Biennal, Istanbul
The Sisyphus Syndrome / Homage to Joseph Beuys, Kunstverein Schloss Plön Art Agency Karin Melchior,Kassel
4x1, Vier Räume, Golup, Huber, Julius, Wall, Albertinum Dresden

1994
InSite 94, Mesa Art College, San Diego, Tijuana
Music for a Bamboo Forest, Soundfestival in Kyoto
IRRTON - Festival für Virtuelle Irritation, Podewil, Berlin
Air, Raika, Osaka

1993
Galerie Lara Vincy galerie, Salon de Musique, Suite d'Automne, Paris

1992
How loud is the Stillness, Arte Amazonas, Rio de Janeiro
Wanas exibitions, Wanas

1991
John Cage and Modernism  T. Kosugi & Julius, Neue Pinakothek, Munich
Interferenzen: Kunst aus Westberlin : 1960 - 1990, Latvian National Museum of Arts, Riga
Berlin Devided, PS-1 Museum Queens, New York

1990
Musique Jaune, La Criée, Halle d'art Contemporain, Rennes
Blau - Farbe der Ferne, Heidelberger KunstvereinAcoustica International, Montreal
Walking Inside - Walking Outside, Maison de la Culture d'Amiens

1989
En mai, fais ce qu'il te plaît !, Festival, La Roche-sur-Yon
Ressource Kunst, Akademie der Künste, Berlin

1988
Lannan Museum, Lake Worth, Florida

1987
Music Which Passes the Building, documenta 8, Kassel
Klanginstallationen - GAK - Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst e.V. Bremen, Bremen
Musik, die vom Fluß kommt, Ars electronica, Linz

1986
Dessins, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin
Elements from Berlin, The Art Gallery at Harbourfront, Toronto

1985
New Music America, Los Angeles
Biennale de Paris
Light Music, Sprengelmuseum, Hannover
Institute of Contemporay Art (ICA), Boston

1984
The 3rd and 4th dimension, Raffinerie du plan K, Brussels
Kunst Landschaft Bundes Republik, Berlin
Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart

1983
Music for a Long Time, PS-1 Contemporary art center, New York
Montevideo Diagonale - Kattendijkdok Westkaai, Anvers

1982
Medium photography - artists work with photography, Kieler Kunsthalle, Kiel
Music for the plants, Museum Folkwang, Essen
Dada-Montage-Konzept. (Längsschnitte 4). - Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
Bremer Kunstausstellung - GAK - Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst e.V. Bremen
Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin
Sonoritas Prospettiche, Rimini

1981
Galerie Gelbe Musik, Berlin
Llibres d'artista / Artist books, Metronom, Barcelona

1980
For Eyes and Ears, Akademie of the Arts, Berlin    

1978
Drei Fotografen, Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven

1974
Kunst in Bremen 74', Kunsthalle Bremen


WORKSHOP
1995
Fine Art school of Bremen


SELECTED CONCERTS & PERFORMANCES
2015
MUSIK - WEITER ENTFERNT II, opening concert of die Reihe. Beiträge zu auditiver Kunst und Kultur, a cooperation of Elektroakustische Musik Hören by TU Studio and Sound Studies Lectures (Master Sound Studies at the Udk Berlin)

2012-2013
Rothko Chapel, Houston, Texas : concerts by Rolf Julius, Thomas Köner and Joan la Barbara
Why Black? Why Red? Joan La Barbara sings Rolf Julius, Castelo di Rivoli, Torino

2009
Distance, Oboro, Montreal
Gallery Gendai-heights Den, Tokyo

2004
Suite in Parochial, Solo, and Duo Performance with Miki Yui, Berlin
Songbook 1-6 performed by The Maulwerker in Cologne (Sound Art Festival)
Shadow - piece for Solo Cello, (Michael Moser, Cello) Inventionen, Berlin

1991
Music for the large tree, Museum of contemporary art, Belo Horizonte

1990
Concert for two empty surfaces, Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken
Small music n°4, P3, Tokyo

1989
Cactus Music, Drawing Room, Tucson

1984
Music for a wide plain, Het Apollohuis, Eindhoven

1983
Concert for a long time, Gallery Wewerka, Berlin

1982
Konzert für bare Füsse, Galerie A' Amsterdam

1981
Elefantenmusik, musikalische Aktion, Galerie Giannozzo, Berlin
Berliner Konzertreihe, eigene musikalische Aktionsreihe in und für Berlin
Konzert für die Erde, Galerie Philomene Magers, München
Konzert für bare Füsse, Kunstverein Braunschweig
Konzert für einen Strand, Galerie nemo, Eckernförde

1980
Konzert für einen Baum, Galerie Krebaum, Weinheim


CONFERENCE / SYMPOSIUM
2012
Rolf Julius - sound installations as performing art by Maija Julius at the symposium  «the presence of the ephemeral. Media art at the cutting edge between conservation and interpretation» - imai - inter media art institute, Düsseldorf


MEMORIAL EVENTS
2012
Small music - Art World of Rolf Julius, Symposium at the Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art

2011
Performances by Miki Yui, Peter Behrendsen and Volker Straebel, Moltkerei Werkstatt, Köln
Performances by David Moss, Hans Peter Kunjhn & Junko Wada, Arnold Dreyblatt, Bernhard Leitner, Berlin


DISCOGRAPHY
2012
Raining, Western Vinyl

2011
Music for a Distance : Small Music No.2, western vinyl
Black (inside), Western Vinyl, flexi disc record

2010
Music for the Ears : Small Music No. 1, western vinyl
Klangi, on the occasion of the exhibition at Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova museum, Turku, Finland

2009
Wet Speakers, Oral, CDR, edition of 100, signed and numbered

2006
Small Sounds Meet Small Music, e/static
Monochrome (Ash), self released, DVD, edition of 4, signed and numbered

2005
Gefrierend, self released, DVD, edition of 4, signed and numbered

2004
Early Works Vol. 1, fringes recordings
Musik in Deutschland 1950 - 2000 (visible music), BMG Ariola classics GmbH
7 RAS, Revista de arte sonoro Centro de Creacion experimental, Universitadde Castilla -  La Mancha

2003
Für Einen Kleinen See, because tomorrow comes
Mit Sinnen, Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl

2002
Projekt Berliner Konzertreihe, self released, 5 three inch CDRs and print, edition of 50, signed
Monochrome I-VII, self released

2001
(Halb) Schwarz, x-tract/edition rz
Piano Concerto, Kunst Halle Fridericianum, CD with catalogue Kunsthalle Fridericianum
"rot - oder wie laut ist schwarz", Soba Field, self released
Visual Sound, Mattress Factory

1998
#1 - Julius, Curran, Moss, Montgomery, Weiner, Mallozzi, Vitiello, Oursler, Leipold, Because tomorrow comes

1997
Und Klang Kunst Festival Wiebaden
Wind von China (Edition IV), self released
Raga für die Pflanzen / Raga for the plants (Edition III), self released
Blue(s) für eine lange Zeit / Bleue(s) for a Long Time (Edition I), self released
Monochrom (grau-blau), (Edition II), self released

1996
Small Music vol. 3:  Music for a Garden, Mattress Factory
Small Music vol. 4:  Tanz fur Zwei Blaue Rechtecke, Stadtgalerie Saarbrüken

1995
Small Music vol. 1:  White ' Yellow ' Black, self released
Small Music vol. 2:  Klangbogen, self released

1994
6 Räume (Zellen), Zollverein Essen, CD with catalogue

1993
Sommerstück (Belèm)/ Neues Klavierkonzert, Verlog Das Beispiel GmbH Darmstadt, CD with the book "Wind"

1985
Lullaby for the Fishes, self released (2002), ré-édité en 2015 par Rumpsti Pumsti
Lullaby for the Fishes, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, 12 inch record

1983
Julius at PS1, Queens, self released (2002)
Musik für die Ohren, Edition Giannozzo Berlin, (tape cassette)

1982
Projekt Berliner Konzertreihe, self released, (5 tape cassette set)

1981
Walzer für Ein Dreieck, Edition Giannozzo Berlin, 7 inch record
Musik für Einen Kleinen Weiben Raum (Installation und Aktion) self released, (tape cassette)
Polonaise / Walzer für ein Dreieck, self released, (tape cassette)
Langes Flötenkonzert / Polonaise, self released, (tape cassette)

1980
Afrikanische Klavierkonzerte 1 + 2, self released, (tape cassette)
Konzert für einen Gefrorenen See (für Milan Knizak), self released, (tape cassette)

PODCASTS
2016
Steve Roden on Rolf Julius, directed by Arnau Horta, RRS, Radio from Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid

PUBLICATIONS
2017
Anselm Dreher, Wo ist denn hier die Ausstellung, Berlin, Kehrer Gallery


2013
Lautlos, Nina Canell, Rolf Julius, exhibition catalog, Berlin, Hamburger Bahnhof

2010
Languages and Experimentations. Young artists in a contemporary collection, Hans Ulrich Obrist
50 Jahre Kunstmuseum Bochum, editors : Hans Günter Golinski, Sepp Hiekisch-Picard
Klangi, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, Turku

2009
Estuaire 2009 Le paysage, l'art et le fleuve, 303 magazine n°106
Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2009, Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial Executive Committe Tokyo Secretariat and Gendaikikakushitsu Publishers

2007
A noir, e blanc, i rouge, u vert, o bleu - Farben, Kunstmuseum Magdeburg, Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, Magdeburg
Noiseless - Akio Suzuki + Rolf Julius, editors : International Contemporary Music Forum of Kyoto & The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
Rolf Julius Für den Blick nach unten, Kunstraum Potsdam, Catherine Nichols

2006
Rolf Julius Grau schweigt, Museum Bochum
Berlin-Tokyo / Tokyo-Berlin. Die Kunst zweier Städte, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin

2005
Light Sculptures, 503 Mulino, Colpo di Fulmine Edizioni

2001
Rolf Julius, Kunsthalle Fridericianum
Painting and calligraphy 17th-20th centuries, Asian art museum, San Francisco

2000
Rolf Julius Black (Red), University Gallery of Massachussets Amherst
Julius Schwarz Bleibt Stumm, Suermondt Ludwig Museum Aachen
Zen und die westliche Kunst, Museum Bochum, Bochum

1997
Von laut bis lautlos, Branderburgische Kunstsammlungen Cottbus

1996
Rolf Julius Small music (Grau), Heidelberger Kunstverein

1995
Rolf Julius ilmaa, Studio N, Nykytaiteen Museo The Museum Of Conteporary Art, Helsinki
Im Albertinum : Golub / Huber / Julius / Wall, Gemäldegalerie Neue Maister Staaliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
4th international Istanbul biennial, Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts

1994
Rolf Julius Ilmaa Air, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Helsinki
Rolf Julius, 10 Zeichnungen (Parà), Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl

1993
BT Bijutsu Techo, November, Vol 45, No. 678
Music Today, No. 19

1992
Arte amazonas, Goethe Institut, Brasilia

1991
Rolf Julius, Wind, P3 art and environment, Tokyo
Nationalmuseum für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Korea
Installations and performances 1982-1989, Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh

1989
20 jahre, Japanisches Kulturinstitut, Köln

1984
im totem winkel, Kunstausstellung vom 20.4-3.6.1984, Kunstverein und Kunsthaus, Hambourg

1982
Walzer für ein Dreiek, edition Giannozzo, Berlin
Views reading listening, Anthologie / Schallplatte, edition Vogelsang, Berlin
Künstler arbeiten mit Fotografie, Kunsthalle Kiel
mit Klang, edition Giannozzo, Berlin

1981
Installationen, catalogue Kunstverein Braunschweig
Ausstellungsblätter der Modern Abteilung, No. 25, Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf

1980
Köperhorizont (Portrait von N), edition Giannozzo, Brelin
Julius, edition eigene Tonband and Cassettenproduktion
Katalog für Augen und Ohren, Akademie des Künste, Berlin
Künstler arbeiten mit Fotografie, edition Giannozzo, Berlin


GRANTS
1991
Japan Foundation Fellowship at Kyoto

1984
PS-1 grant, New York
Kunstfonds e.V., Bonn
Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin

1986
Arbeitstipendium des Senators für Kulturelle Angelegenheiten, Berlin


AWARDS
2005
Hannah-Höch-Preis

2004
Deutscher Klangkunstpreis


COLLECTIONS
Artothek des NBK, Berlin
Artothèque du Limousin
Artothèque de Pessac – Les arts au mur
Berlinische Galerie, Berlin

CNAP Centre national des arts plastiques
Collection Ivo Wessel, Berlin
Collection Finkenberg, Sammlung Weserburg, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Bremen
FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon
FRAC Limousin, Limoges
FRAC Languedoc Roussillon, Montpellier
Gehbi Koc Foundation, Istanbul
Itami City Museum, Itami
Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin
Kunstmuseum Bremerhaven
Kunstmuseum Bochum
Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus
Kupferstichkabinett SPMK, Berlin
Museo Ettore Fico, Turin
Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow
Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde
Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen, Bremen
Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten, Marl
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
Stiftung Moritzburg, Kunstmuseum des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt, Halle
The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh
The Wanas foundation, Knislinge

Sound in other media.

By Rahma Khazam
This article first appeared in The Wire issue 261 November 2005. Reproduced by permission. thewire.co.uk

«The surface of a sound interests me,» Rolf Julius once wrote. «Is it round or angled? Raw or smooth? I’m also interested in the distance of a sound. Does it sound different close than further away. And if you bend down to pick up a sound ... ?»
These are questions that go to the heart of Rolf Julius’s work. «I even made a piece where you lay on your back and put speakers on your eyes, so you could look into the sound,» reminisces the Berlin based sound artist, sitting amid the hubbub of a noisy Paris cafe. For the past 30 years, Julius’s minimal pieces, which have made him one of the leading exponents of contemporary sound art, have been teasing out connections between sound and visuals. Take the pieces he is currently showing at Paris’s Galerie Lara Vincy, a longtime supporter of his work. The lid on a Japanese soup cup opens up to reveal a speaker covered with powdery black pigment. Muffled gurgles escape from the cup as the pigment twists and contorts, making the sounds visible. A little way away, two small stones topped with tiny speakers are engaged in a muttered dialogue. Meanwhile, by the window, soft chirps issue forth from a speaker attached to a bowl of water, breathing life into the image of rippling water on the video screen close by. As Julius comments: «Water In a bowl, a speaker, sound: what is it? Nothing. But when you put them together in a special way, then all of a sudden, if you’re lucky, it’s a piece - it’s as if it’s Iiving its own life.»
Julius discovered his passion for sound and visuals the very first time he used them together. Born in the German port city of Wilhelmshaven in 1939, he studied visual art in Bremen and Berlin. It was not until the mid-70s that he began using sound, while working as a photographer in Bremen. He invited members of the public to enter a booth one by one and bare their backs, which he then photographed. «People were very nervous, so I put on some music, pieces by Robert Ashley and Pauline Oliveros, and they liked it so much that they relaxed,» he recalls. «It was something different and they [realised] it was art. From that moment, I became aware that music or sound could change situations.»

Towards the end of the 70s, Julius moved to Berlin, where he discovered the budding sound art scene. «I was very impressed by it,» he says. «I also wanted to create music [for my pieces], but I couldn’t because I did not know how to compose. So I started with one note.» Julius is referring to that first note he made by striking a piece of iron with an iron bar and recording the resulting sound. He then copied it onto a lower grade tape, obtaining a slightly different sound. He had taken photos of a dyke and decided to combine his two sounds with the photographs. Each photo showed the slight curve of the dyke against the horizon, taken from a slightly different angle. «I had a line of six photos and I put a speaker at either end,» he explains. «Then all of a sudden the small curves started to move up and down, they began to dance!» He showed this work, titled Dike Line (1979), to art activist and curator Rene Block, who immediately invited him to take part in his forthcoming show In West Berlin’s Akademie der Künste. The year was 1980 and the occasion was the mythical show Für Augen Und Ohren, which brought together works by the likes of Laurie Anderson, John Cage, Luigi Russolo, Nam June Paik and Bill Fontana for the first major exhibition on sound and the visual arts yet to be held in Europe. It was also around that time that Julius launched a concert series comprising such memorable pieces as Concert For A Frozen Lake (1982), in which recorded piano sounds were played on the edge of an iced-up lake. He used the same method as Dike Line, although in this case the recordings bore little resemblance to the original sound, due to the quality of the tapes. «This music was more like a vibraphone than a piano. It was perfect for a frozen lake because it evoked the material of ice,» he observes. Soon after the Berlin Concerts, Julius moved to New York on a grant and was allocated a studio at PS1. His career took off as he gradually began giving performances and creating installations throughout Europe, Japan and the United States.

In the meantime, Julius was pursuing his experiments. Music For the Eyes (1981), in which the viewer placed small speakers over his eyes, demonstrated that, in the absence of any visual input, listening becomes a physical experience involving the entire body. Another important discovery occurred when he was working on the idea of having sound come from the inside of a stone. «I wanted to put sounds into a big stone by making a hole In it, but it was too complicated,» Julius says. «Then I discovered that when I placed a speaker on top of a stone, the sound appeared to be coming from inside it.» Getting stones to talk was also a way of drawing attention to his materials and their intrinsic properties, which is another abiding theme in Julius’s work. He was likewise developing a better understanding of the relations between sound and visuals. «lf you go from one medium to another, there has to be a link,» he insists. For Julius, a sound goes with an object when it reflects the object’s surface and texture. «If I combine a normal clear piano sound with a dirty red pigment, it will strike you as odd,» he remarks. «This is the kind of experience a sound artist acquires because he knows about the texture of sounds. A composer would not work this way. He doesn’t know about the texture, or what I would call the surface of the sound.»
Although Julius’s work is often spoken about in terms of synaesthesia, he takes exception to the tendency. lt is the combined effect of sound and visuals that interests him. «In my work,» he says, «you concentrate on both the visual and the acoustic elements and, taken together, they result in something new.»

The soundworld that Julius uses is highly specific. Utilising processed natural and instrumental sounds as well as simple devices such as buzzers, he produces what he calls «small sounds». These soft, yet compelling, murmurs or hums retain a natural feel and are often suggestive of frogs, crickets or birds. «My artificial sounds are sometimes more natural than natural sounds because there is a relationship to nature. Crickets, for instance, do not sing with their mouths, but move their legs; a buzzer does the same, it’s mechanical,» Julius points out. Most important however, are the pauses between his sounds, which orchestrate the viewer’s experience of the piece. «Say you have a piece consisting of red and black pigments,» he explains. «You play a sound, then the pause is too long, so you look at the red and black. Then you play another sound, then you look, and so on.»
In Big Gray (1994), sound is conducive to concentration and stillness. This piece was created for a building situated In one of the noisiest streets in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Rather than fight against the ambient din by raising the volume of his piece, Julius went one better: when the viewer concentrated on the sounds, he became oblivious to the noise outside. «I found that my senses relaxed and I was able to listen to the entire composition without paying attention to what was going on elsewhere,» he says. The notions of concentration and stillness crop up in many of Julius’s works. The calm, meditative atmosphere emanating from his pieces stems from the hypnotic intensity of his soft whirrs, which hold the viewer’s attention. Creating stillness by means of sound is a notion that harks back to John Cage, for whom stillness, or silence, was necessarily comprised of sound of some kind. It likewise stems from Julius’s experiences in Japan - a country that immediately took to his work and with which he has many natural affinities. «Japan helped me to understand silence,» he says. «You go to a Zen temple, and you can understand something about it.»
The Zen-like detachment and simplicity that run through Julius’s work mark him out from the majority of contemporary sound artists. He has a close affinity with Japanese artist Akio Suzuki, whose work likewise references nature, while displaying a similar freshness and economy of means. He also feels a proximity to Morton Feldman, whose pared down aesthetic is mirrored in the minute differences between the six photos constituting Dike Line. Even more important, however, is John Cage, whose conception of silence and openness to all sounds were a liberating influence. Yet Julius has always kept his distance from Cage. «It’s very difficult to become an independent artist when you are close to a figure like John Cage,» he says. «Most artists connected to him could not move by themselves. They were always saying, ‘John said I did a good piece.’ In my case, [Takehisa] Kosugi knew him very well and told me stories about him. But I was too shy to talk to him and I am happy I only watched from a distance.»

Julius’s forthcoming projects testify to his continued independence and creativity. He will be showing some of his video images in Berlin in November, while next year’s Märzmusik will feature pianist Aki Takahashi performing one of his graphic scores. This is by no means his first  attempt at composing for others. Vocal ensemble die maulwerker presented a memorable performance of a series of graphic scores titled Songbooks 1-6 in Cologne in July 2004. Meanwhile, Julius is preparing for a major show in Bochum next April, which will probably include a symposium and contributions from like-minded artists and friends, ranging from Akio Suzuki, Takehisa Kosugi, Miki Yui and the dancer Junko Wada, to John Cage and Kasimir Malevitch.

Julius may have been at the forefront of the nascent German sound art scene in the 1980s, along with the likes of Christina Kubisch and Hans Peter Kuhn, yet he remains modest about his achievements. «I was like a kid next to people like Kosugi and David Tudor,» he says. It is not for nothing that Julius considers Kosugi and Tudor as precursors. They may not be sound artists as such, but David Tudor’s Rainforest, for instance, broke new ground in the 70s in terms of its sound sources and their placement in space. As for the new generation of sound artists, they are not as obsessed with sound as the artists of Julius’s generation, who had to contend with the resistance of the art and music establishment, not to speak of the public. «[Today’s sound artists] are more open,» he concludes. «They don’t care whether they are working with sound or visuals; they mix everything. Thanks to the people who came before, they have realised that sound is not such a big deal - it’s just a material like any other.»