Julie Mehretu

(b. 1970)

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(1970– )

Ethiopian/American painter. Born in Addis Ababa, she lives and works in New York. She creates large-scale paintings and wall-size installations which have been described as ‘explosive’, with dense layers of contours reminiscent of the apocalyptic visions of Leonardo da Vinci interlaced with geometric forms out of Malevich. The artist also cites ‘renaissance painting and drawing, tattoos, comic books, graffiti, graphic design, kung fu flicks, hip hop and video games’ as sources for her painting. Her paintings, it has been argued, are not simply abstract but ‘a question about the ways in which we construct and live in the world’ (Lawrence Chua). She begins with an architectural plan then overlays this with more gestural markings. The conjunction of different spaces can be taken as a kind of metaphor for globalization.

http://www.bombsite.com/issues/91/articles/2714 L. Chua, ‘Julie Mehretu’, in BOMB magazine (spring 2005).

Subjects: Art.

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