julie-mehretu

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Women in Africa and the Diaspora: “Julie Mehretu”

“I don’t think of architectural language as just a metaphor about space, but about spaces of power, about ideas of power.”

Julie Mehretu is an artist born in Ethiopia, raised in Michigan, educated in Senegal and Rhode Island and currently residing in New York. Mehretu’s complex pieces feature architectural forms, fictional landscapes, and grids layered with scribbles, smudges and shapes of different size and colors. Her paintings are more than just assemblage of random colors and lines. The underlying structure of her work consists of socially charged spaces such as government buildings, museums, stadiums, schools, and airports.

“I think architecture reflects the machinations of politics, and that’s why I am interest in it as a metaphor for those institutions.”

Julie Mehretu has received numerous awards including The MacArthur Award in 2005, often referred to as the “genius grant.” The American Art Award granted by The Whitney Museum of American Art (2005,) and the Berlin Prize: Guna S. Mundheim Fellowship at The American Academy in Berlin (2007).

-Bilphena Yahwon

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“The erasure itself became the action. It seemed to suggest a moment in terms of how sad or pessimistic you can feel in a political environment or a historical situation. But it felt like a really hopeful gesture in the painting.”
—Julie Mehretu

In a new previously unpublished interview with Julie Mehretu, the artist discusses her process of layering and erasing, as well as the different references embodied in any one of her large-scale paintings.

READ: Julie Mehretu: To Be Felt as Much as Read

IMAGES: Production stills from the Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 5 episode, Systems, 2009. © Art21, Inc. 2009.

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“I’m not trying to spell out a story. I still think you feel the painting, and the reason you read the mark is because you also feel the mark.”
—Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu, our current 100 Artists featured artist, is seen here in her Berlin studio working on the painting Middle Grey (2007–2009), one work in a suite of seven paintings commissioned by the Deutsche Guggenheim as part of the exhibition Julie Mehretu: Grey Area.

This scene is featured in the Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 5 episode, Systems (2009).

WATCH: Julie Mehretu in Systems [available in the U.S. only] | Additional videos

IMAGES: Production stills from the Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 5 episode, Systems, 2009. © Art21, Inc. 2009.

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This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features artist Julie Mehretu. She is currently exhibiting new work at two venues: New York's Marian Goodman Gallery (through June 22) and London's White Cube (through July 7).

The top image here is Insile (2013), one of the paintings Mehretu is exhibiting at Marian Goodman. It features what has become a signature Mehretu mark: A white rectangle painted in perspective in the center of the painting. You can see it here in three other Mehretus:

On this week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast, host Tyler Green and Mehretu discussed this white rectangular mark, when in the process of Mehretu’s making of Insile she added it, and what the mark ‘means’ in her work.

How to listen: Download the show to your PC/mobile device. Subscribe to The MAN Podcast via iTunesSoundCloudStitcher or RSS. See (many, many) more images of art discussed on the program.

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Pace is pleased to announce Eureka a group exhibition featuring artists who observe and map the cosmological, metaphysical and scientific through painting, sculpture and music. Eureka takes its name from Edgar Allan Poe’s eponymous prose poem published in 1848. His last significant publication, the work articulates his ideas on the nature of the universe, combining scientific postulates with his poetic vision, and resonating with later advancements in cosmology and astrophysics such as the big bang theory. The exhibition highlights twelve artists from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries who follow Poe’s lead to explore the operations of the universe.

Artists
Alexander Calder
Emmet Gowin
Tim Hawkinson
Alfred Jensen
Julie Mehretu
Ben Nicholson
The Sun Ra Arkestra
James Siena
Yalla Yalla Gibbs Tjungurrayi
James Turrell
Keith Tyson
Edgar Varèse

The exhibition will be on view at 508 West 25th Street from May 2 to June 27, 2015.  

Images: Tim Hawkinson, Gimbled Klein Basket, 2007; Alfred Jensen, Physical Optics, 1975. 

this is the highlight of my day. on the top floor of SFMOMA some months ago I’d seen a piece I quite admired but had forgotten to take down the artist’s name. I remembered it was a substantial canvas with minute details in ink and what seemed to be stickers. in the long view, they coalesced into what felt like a brightly-colored indoor swim meet.

this afternoon the still of a video blog caught my eye. and, lo, it was Julie Mehretu, who made Stadia.

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This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features artist Julie Mehretu. She is currently exhibiting new work at two venues: New York's Marian Goodman Gallery (through June 22) and London's White Cube (through July 7).

The image at top is Mehretu’s 2012 Mogamma: Part 2, which is included in her ongoing exhibition at White Cube. (The second image is a detail.) The painting, which is made from ink and acrylic on canvas, is 15 feet tall and 12 feet wide. The Mogamma is a government building on Cairo’s Tahrir Square. 

Mehretu has received solo exhibitions at the Guggenheim, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Louisiana Museum in Denmark, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León and the Walker Art Center. In 2005 she won a MacArthur ‘genius’ fellowship.

How to listen to Mehretu on this week’s MAN Podcast: Download the show to your PC/mobile device. Subscribe to The MAN Podcast via iTunesSoundCloudStitcher or RSS. See (many, many) more images of art discussed on the program.