Fine Art Focus: Julie Mehretu

by Grace Bonney

For today’s fine art focus, I nominated one of my personal favorites, Julie Mehretu. I first discovered Julie’s work when I was studying printmaking in college. My professor was traveling to see one of Julie’s shows and brought the catalog back for me to check out (Thank you, Professor Peak!). I was immediately blown away by the way color, line and form all seemed to explode from various points on the canvas. To me her work felt bold, powerful and full of action. It was exactly what I needed to see at that point in my life and her work has made a lasting impression on me ever since. xo, grace

Artist: Julie Mehretu
About: Julie was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia but moved with her family to Michigan when she was seven years old. She graduated with a Master of Fine Arts Degree from RISD in 1997 and has since gone on to show her work in galleries and museums across the world. She has completed noted residencies in Scotland, Harlem, Berlin, Minneapolis (with work completed in East Africa) and Detroit.
Work: While Julie is often known for her abstract paintings, I love the architectural references in her work that recall specific buildings and locations. Julie has discussed her process online before, which involves projecting her own drawings onto larger scale canvases and tracing the lines.
More: You can read more about Julie here, here and here and watch a video interview with her here. (I also love this video interview with her studio assistants here)

Image sources above and below: Art21, The Walker Art Museum and The British Museum (Portrait photo by Mark Hanauer)


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