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 Julie Mehretu  (1970 - )

About: Julie Mehretu


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Lived/Active: New York / Ethiopia      Known for: Large-scale abstract gestural painting, architectural themes

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BIOGRAPHY for Julie Mehretu
1970 (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
New York / Ethiopia

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Large-scale abstract gestural painting, architectural themes

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Ethiopia, Julie Mehretu is an artist who creates abstractions with layer after layer of markings that appear to be fragments of architectural plans.  Her work is related to the Russian movment of Constructivism and suggests the life of a city---cars, people, and buildings.   It reflects much of what she observes from her Harlem studio and home ---"the velocity and fragmentation of modern life."  (Sheets)

To create her pieces she has studio assistants and works with masking tape, light projectors, and architectural plans.

In the winter of 2006-2007, an exhibition of 20 of her works was at the Museo de Art Contemporáneo de Castilly y León in León, Spain, and from October 26 through January 15 of that same time period, she had a solo exhibition at the Seville Biennial.

When she was seven years old, Mehretu moved to East Lansing, Michigan where her father took a teaching position at Michigan State University.  In 1992, she earned a B.A. degree from Kalamzoo College and spent a year studying in Senegal before moving to New York.  In 1997, she earned an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and she spent the year 2000 as artist-in-residence at the Walker Art Gallery in Minneapolis.  She has also spent time in Houston, Texas; and Harare, Zimbabwe.

In 2005 Julie Mehretu was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.

Sources include:
Hilarie Sheets, "Julie Mehretu", Art & Auction, October, 2006
Artnews, November 2005

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