This full-scale retrospective monograph of Julie Mehretu’s work traces the development of one of America’s most celebrated abstract painters.
Over the past twenty-five years Julie Mehretu has emerged as a major force in American art. Known mostly for her enormous abstract paintings, she also produces exquisite drawings, often created as studies for larger works. This sumptuous volume accompanies a major mid-career survey of Mehretu’s work. Designed to allow close viewing of Mehretu’s vast canvases, it features lush reproductions of her paintings in their entirety, as well as numerous full-page details. The genesis for much of Mehretu’s work lies in the black ink drawings she created in the late 1990s. From these early drawings and paintings, Mehretu moved onto large-scale canvases. These drawings and paintings are maplike and colorful, with diagrammatic elements that reflect her life experience. Each of these stages of her oeuvre is represented here, including works from her landmark exhibition Drawing into Painting, the twelve-panel intaglio, Auguries, and the paintings she created as a result of time spent in Africa and the Middle East. Accompanying these images are numerous essays by leading curators, scholars, and writers. Long overdue, this magnificent volume pays tribute to an artist whose work and process intermingle in a unique and important examination of painting, history, geopolitics, and displacement.
“This artist’s imperative midcareer retrospective…comes with a rich catalog that captures her paintings’ stuttering intensity and discloses her abstracted source material (wildfires, riots). Ms. Mehretu’s early, architectonic paintings came at a high-water mark for globalization; her recent art, more anxious and more impressive, features thrumming, multilayered fields of color and ricky-tick calligraphic swoops that seethe with the contemporary volatility of states and climates. The book is dedicated to the pioneering Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor, who died before he could complete his contribution, but whose global engagement animates many of its other essays.” —Jason Farago, The New York Times
“A long time coming, Julie Mehretu compiles for the first time a comprehensive overview of the artist’s expansive and evolving body of work made from 1996 to the present. —Culture Type