Julie Mehretu | the artist
The artist Julie Mehretu
Born 1970, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Lives and works in New York, USA, .
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On surfaces encased in coats of transparent resin, american painter Julie Mehretu paints over the sprawling drawings a maelstrom of colorful, geometric abstractions, iconic imagery, and loosely figurative markings that evoke a world of associations. Certain sketch marks suggest explosions, while others call to mind the curved backs of pilgrims praying at Mecca, or landscapes flecked with grassy plains.
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about the artist
Julie Mehretu makes large-scale, gestural paintings that are built up through layers of acrylic paint on canvas overlaid with mark-making using pencil, pen, ink and thick streams of paint. Mehretus work conveys a layering and compression of time, space and place and a collapse of art historical references, from the dynamism of the Italian Futurists and the geometric abstraction of Malevich to the enveloping scale of Abstract Expressionist colour field painting. In her highly worked paintings, Mehretu creates new narratives using abstracted images of cities, histories, wars and geographies with a frenetic mark making that for the artist becomes a way of signifying social agency as well suggesting an unravelling of a personal biography…
Julie Mehretu tackles the infrastructure of the constructed world, imploding and exploding fragments of the real and imagined into a frenzied maelstrom of information. Accreted layers of Mylar, vellum, paper, ink and paint, Mehretu’s canvases are as much drawn as painted. Perspectival renderings of architecture are woven with notational calligraphy, amorphous membranes, and organic motifs, enfolding multiple realities and spatial schemes into a single plane…