Julie Mehretu studied at Kalamazoo College in Michigan (BA, 1992) and at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal (1990–91). She received an MFA in painting and printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1997. She has received numerous awards including the The MacArthur Award (2005), The American Art Award granted by The Whitney Museum of American Art (2005), the 2002 Penny McCall Award, The Rhode Island School of Design Alumni Council Artistic Achievement Award, RI (2006), and the Berlin Prize: Guna S. Mundheim Fellowship at The American Academy in Berlin, Germany (2007). She has participated in numerous international exhibitions and biennials including Documenta 13 (2012), the New Orleans Biennale (2008), the 15th Biennale of Sydney (2006) and the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art (2004). She has had solo exhibitions at such institutions as the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010), the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain (2006), and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2003).
Text courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery.
Julie Mehretu has never shied away from making art on a monumental scale. In 2016–17, the Ethiopian-American artist relocated her studio to an abandoned church in Harlem to complete the enormous paintings that comprised her commission for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, HOWL, eon (I, II) (2017).
On the occasion of her current exhibition at Kettle's Yard, Julie Mehretu spoke with me about her work from the past two decades. The images she has been creating during this time, in the form of paintings and drawings, consider the world we live in today through references to cities, architectural sites, geo-political events, and histories. She...
At first glance, the paintings on the walls may not look all that different from what Julie Mehretu has done before. There are the marks, the layering, the allusions to current events. But walking through her show, which opened last week at Marian Goodman Gallery on West 57th Street, Ms. Mehretu said that the paintings represent something of a...
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