BAHM: 2.12.17 Julie Mehretu
Julie Mehretu is a New York based abstract painter and printmaker. Her work is characterized by layers of architectural features, geographical mapping and movement. She was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1970 and received her MFA from RISD in 1997. Her work was featured in Freestyle, curated by Thelma Golden for the Studio Museum in 2001. Mehretu’s first major solo exhibit, Grey Matter, was exhibited the Guggenheim Museum in 2010.
Mehretu’s work is large scale, heavily worked and covered in hundreds of layers of thin, translucent paint and paper, similar to layers of graffiti. The layers consist of overlapping architectural features with geographic markings such as building plans and city maps, seen from several perspectives at once. Mehretu has stated that mark making became a signifier of social agency and reflective of personal biography; that the marks represent characters themselves. Her work has been likened to the Futurist and Constructivist movements.