Julie Mehretu ~ Painter

For more than two decades, Julie Mehretu (b. 1970, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) has been engaged in a deep exploration of painting. She creates new forms and finds unexpected resonances by drawing from the histories of art and human civilization—from Babylonian stelae to architectural sketches, from European history painting to the sites and symbols of African liberation movements. Some of Mehretu’s imagery and titles hint at their representational origins, but her work remains steadfastly abstract.

Comprising approximately thirty paintings and forty works on paper dating from 1996 to the present day, this mid-career survey of Julie Mehretu presents the most comprehensive overview of her practice to date. She plays with the parameters of abstraction, architecture, landscape, scale, and, most recently, figuration. At its core, Mehretu’s art is invested in our lived experiences, and examines how forces such as migration, capitalism, and climate change impact human populations—and possibilities.

Julie Mehretu is organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The exhibition is curated by Christine Y. Kim, curator of contemporary art at LACMA, with Rujeko Hockley, Arnhold Associate Curator at the Whitney.

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Julie Mehretu, Haka (and Riot), 2019. Ink and acrylic on canvas, 144 × 180 in. (365.76 × 457.2 cm)

Julie Mehretu, Haka (and Riot), 2019

Julie Mehretu, Of other Planes of There (S.R.) 2018–2019, 108 × 120 in. (274.32 × 304.8 cm).

Julie Mehretu, Of other Planes of There, 2018-19

Julie Mehretu, Stadia II, 2004. Ink and acrylic on canvas, 107 3/8 × 140 1/8 in. (272.73 × 355.92 cm) Cover

Julie Mehretu, Stadia II, 2004, (DDM Cover)

Julie Mehretu, Black City, 2007. Ink and acrylic on canvas, 120 × 192 in. (304.8 × 487.7 cm)

Julie Mehretu, Black City, 2007

Julie Mehretu, Untitled 2, 1999 ink and polymer on canvas, 59.8 x 71.7 in. 151.8 x 182.2 cm.

Julie Mehretu, Untitled 2, 1999