Julie Mehretu

Ethiopian-American, b. 1970

3,874 followers
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Julie Mehretu

Ethiopian-American, b. 1970

3,874
Followers
Biography

Julie Mehretu’s work is about layers: the physical layering of images, marks, and mediums, and the figurative layering of time, space, place, and history. Working in a large scale, Mehretu draws on the 21st-century city for inspiration, transferring its energy into her gestural sweeps of paint and built-up marks in ink and pencil—often transposed from projections—and condensing seemingly infinite urban narratives, architectural views, and street plans into single unified compositions. “The narratives come together to create this overall picture that you see from the distance,” she says. “As you come close to it […] the big picture completely shatters and there are these numerous small narratives happening.” Mehretu layers a range of influences and art historical references as well, from the dynamism espoused by the Futurists, to the scale and physicality of Abstract Expressionism, to the divergent markmaking of Albrecht Dürer, Eastern calligraphy, and graffiti. Mehretu was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2005.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
HKD $44m, Sotheby's, 2019
User
Solo show at a major institution
Guggenheim Museum, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 12 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta, and 9 more
Biography

Julie Mehretu’s work is about layers: the physical layering of images, marks, and mediums, and the figurative layering of time, space, place, and history. Working in a large scale, Mehretu draws on the 21st-century city for inspiration, transferring its energy into her gestural sweeps of paint and built-up marks in ink and pencil—often transposed from projections—and condensing seemingly infinite urban narratives, architectural views, and street plans into single unified compositions. “The narratives come together to create this overall picture that you see from the distance,” she says. “As you come close to it […] the big picture completely shatters and there are these numerous small narratives happening.” Mehretu layers a range of influences and art historical references as well, from the dynamism espoused by the Futurists, to the scale and physicality of Abstract Expressionism, to the divergent markmaking of Albrecht Dürer, Eastern calligraphy, and graffiti. Mehretu was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2005.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
HKD $44m, Sotheby's, 2019
User
Solo show at a major institution
Guggenheim Museum, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 12 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta, and 9 more
Shows Featuring Julie Mehretu
Articles Featuring Julie Mehretu
17 Shows You Need to See during Frieze Week in London
Oct 1st, 2018
Julie Mehretu Paints to Make Sense of a Violent, Chaotic World
Aug 31st, 2018
For Old Masters and Art Students Alike, Drawing Is a Way to Unlock Creativity
Oct 13th, 2017
The 1990s
Aug 24th, 2015
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