JULIE MEHRETU MARCH 25-AUGUST 8, 2021
Art Market|Issue #56 February 2021
JULIE MEHRETU MARCH 25-AUGUST 8, 2021

COMPREHENSIVE SURVEY OF ARTIST JULIE MEHRETU'S CAREER OPENS AT WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART THIS MARCH

Co-organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, Julie Mehretu is a midcareer survey that will unite more than seventy paintings and works on paper dating from 1996 to the present, reflecting the breadth of Mehretu's multilayered practice. Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1970 and based in New York City, Mehretu has created new forms and found unexpected resonances by drawing on art and human civilization histories. Her play with scale and technique, as evident in intimate drawings, large canvases, and complex forms of printmaking, will be explored in depth. Filling Whitney's entire fifth-floor gallery, the exhibition will take advantage of the expansive and open space to create dramatic vistas of Mehretu's often panoramic paintings. The first-ever comprehensive survey of Mehretu's career, Julie Mehretu, is organized by Christine Y. Kim, curator of contemporary art at LACMA, with Rujeko Hockley, an assistant curator at the Whitney. The installation at the Whitney is overseen by Hockley and on view from March 25 through August 8, 2021.

Few artistic encounters are more thrilling than standing close to one of Julie Mehretu's monumental canvases, enveloped in its fullness, color, forms, and symbolic content. Mehretu's conviction and mastery of composition and brushwork—along with the sheer energy and full-on commitment of her execution—endow her works with a life force, presence, and presentness, said Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney.

The Whitney Museum is particularly pleased to co-organize this midcareer survey with LACMA, and we are thrilled to continue our longstanding and close relationship with the artist, who has been included in numerous group exhibitions at the Whitney, beginning with the 2004 Biennial.

Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, added: Since 1948 when the Whitney presented its first retrospective of a living artist, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, we have maintained a strong commitment to providing substantial, in-depth views on the most groundbreaking artists of our time. I am thrilled that Mehretu's show joins a sequence of midcareer surveys in our new building, which has featured Laura Owens, Zoe Leonard, and Rachel Harrison. Taken together, these shows reveal a wide variety of mediums and artistic approaches, but they are united in their emphasis on innovation and their shared concern for giving voice and shape to contemporary experience.

Mehretu's paintings synthesize vast amounts of visual information and diverse cultural references, from Babylonian stelae to architectural drawings and from European history painting to the sites and symbols of African liberation movements.

Spanning medium, scale, and subject, the exhibition centers her examinations of colonialism, capitalism, global uprising, and displacement through the artistic strategies of abstraction, landscape, and, most recently, figuration. Often drawing upon the twenty-first-century cities for inspiration, Mehretu condenses seemingly infinite urban narratives, architectural views, and street plans into single unified compositions. While she employs representational elements through imagery or titling, her work remains steadfastly abstract. This approach, where abstraction and representation commingle within a single canvas or series, allows a simple hand-drawn mark to take on figurative or narrative qualities.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM ART MARKETView All

Anat Hadar 2 Series

In this series, I've created mainly women's panties. I was fascinated with the idea of creating an intimate wearable object from material that is certainly not.

4 mins read
Art Market
Issue #59 May 2021

Erika Tal-Shir

PLAYTIME, DREAMY WORLD AND TREASURES

3 mins read
Art Market
Issue #56 February 2021

SHARON GLAZBERG | NOWHERE

"Can the dream not also be applied to the solution of life's fundamental questions?"

4 mins read
Art Market
Issue #56 February 2021

An Exclusive Interview With RÉMY BOND

It is a pleasure to interview one of the rising stars in today's contemporary art field, a surprising artist, full of vision, with incredibly unique and sophisticated artworks! Rémy Bond, born in 1983 in Paris, France, dreamed of becoming an astronaut.

10+ mins read
Art Market
Issue #56 February 2021

JULIE MEHRETU MARCH 25-AUGUST 8, 2021

JULIE MEHRETU MARCH 25-AUGUST 8, 2021

7 mins read
Art Market
Issue #56 February 2021

AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH HARUHIKO KAWAGUCHI

I want to capture love as it really is and the bathtub is an ideal vehicle to encapsulate the vivid reality in my images.

5 mins read
Art Market
Issue #56 February 2021

William Michael Yenkevich

A Deep Passion For Poetic Feeling And Beauty

5 mins read
Art Market
Issue #55 January 2021

NOSTALGIC REALISM

An exclusive interview with Jacinthe Rivard

9 mins read
Art Market
Issue #55 January 2021

RADIANCE DUKE WINDSOR

GOLD is the color of extravagance, wealth, riches, and excess and shares several of the color yellow attributes.

4 mins read
Art Market
Issue #55 January 2021

Welcome 2021 GROUP EXHIBITION JANUARY 1 - FEBRUARY 28,2021

Israeli Art Market celebrates the 2021 New Year with a major group exhibition!

4 mins read
Art Market
Issue #55 January 2021