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Julie Mehretu: Drawing Into Painting

Saturday, January 24–Sunday, March 28, 2004

Julie Mehretu, Suprematist Evasion, 2003. Courtesy the artist and The Project, New York.

Julie Mehretu is a painter who makes large-scale, ultra dynamic canvases built up through a complicated series of acrylic layers on canvas overlaid with explorative, frenetic, markings. Her points of departure are architecture and the city, particularly the accelerated, compressed and highly dense urban environments of the twenty-first century. She sees her work as non place-specific and more experiential, describing her canvases as “story maps of no location.” In this sense, her work relates more to the viewer’s imagination than to any definable reality, and seems to represent the speed of the modern city itself through the age-old medium of paint and pencil.

Mehretu’s elaborate semi-abstractions also include a personal language of signs and symbols. Consequently, her work combines formal concerns such as color and line with social concerns of power, history, globalism, and personal narrative. This was the first solo-museum exhibition for this young, highly acclaimed artist. Mehretu has exhibited as part of group exhibitions both nation-wide and internationally.

This exhibition was organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Made possible by generous support from the Voyageur Foundation Fund of The Minneopolis Foundation. Made possible, in Buffalo, through the generous support of Charles Balbach.