梅赫雷图（Mehretu）是本世纪最受赞誉的艺术家之一。她于2005年获得麦克阿瑟奖学金，被评为 时间 杂志的2020年最具影响力人物100位，并在2008年以500万美元的价格卖出了她的一件作品。
熟悉Mehretu的人 Mogamma（四部分绘画）：第2部分— 从高处观看 在2013年获得了这件作品, knows that engaging the work can be a vertiginous experience. The painting is monumental scope and scale and multilayered in depth. The series, named after a government administrative building on Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, was inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011. For the first time in eight years, all four vertical canvases will be shown as a grouping in the United States.
Whether her early diminutive drawings from the 1990s or the large-scale abstract paintings for which she’s widely recognized today, Mehretu’s process has always involved the reconfiguration of diagrams, maps, cave markings, Chinese calligraphy, architectural renderings, graffiti, photojournalism and text. The resulting compositions yield her observations on a wide array of social issues, from natural disasters triggered by climate change to human rights violations against a backdrop of global conflict.
“The globally conscious themes in [Mehretu’s] work align strongly with our commitment to celebrate diverse perspectives through our collection and exhibition program,”says High director Rand Suffolk.“We look forward to offering our audiences a chance to experience a broad spectrum of her creative genius.”
Mehretu’s interest in bearing witness to instability and chaos stems from personal experience. She was born in Addis Ababa in 1970, and migrated to the United States with her family in 1977 to escape civil war as it intensified in Ethiopia. She was raised in East Lansing, Michigan, received her B.A. in art from Kalamazoo College and an M.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1997. Despite the relative stability she enjoys today, a compulsion to make sense of one place from a different place still informs her work. The hardest part of the task, she says, is feeling inferior to the challenge of making art she feels must exist in the world.
“The space that is the most fertile is the space that feels the most unknown,” Mehretu says in a Zoom chat from her home office in Harlem. “One painter described it as [feeling like] the ground is falling away from under you. Maybe it’s an issue of getting older and realizing that time is passing and that explains my fervor in the way I’m working. But the process of putting together the 回顾性的—which began five years ago—really shifted the tenor at which I was painting. The looking-back process allowed me a level of liberation and freedom to be more playful, more intuitive and more agile in the making of some of the new investigations.”
Getting her brain to disassociate and freeing her hand to paint instinctively is central to Mehretu’s process. When she’s not listening to music—her playlist ranges from Sun Ra to hip-hop and Kendrick Lamar to Jason Moran—she’s listening to books on tape, podcasts or lectures. The exercise allows her to get out of her own way and enter what she describes as a disembodied state. Many of her paintings are named after songs, if not a genre of music. And she ascribes the resulting “choreography and soundscapes” that infuse her expression to the ever-evolving playlists that offer her a portal to a heightened state of creativity.
Highlights of the 回顾性的 include a selection of etching, photogravure, aquatint and engraving that track Mehretu’s career in printmaking. Early works like “Untitled (2)” from 1996 and “Map Paint (white),” also from 1996, are studies in fossilized topographies made up of drawings embedded between layers of poured paint. Midcareer works like “Stadia II” (2004) and “Black City” (2007) interrogate built spaces like sports and military typologies that are designed to accommodate and organize large numbers while containing an undercurrent of chaos and violence. More recent paintings like “Conjured Parts (eye), Ferguson” (2016) conjure the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Missouri.
英国视觉艺术家塔西塔·迪恩（Tacita Dean）于2011年拍摄的一部有关Mehretu的纪录片，主要内容是回顾。星期四（10月22日），策展人Michael Rooks将为上议院 与当代艺术家的对话：朱莉·梅赫雷图（Julie Mehretu），一次Zoom聊天，将艺术家与洛杉矶博物馆当代艺术副策展人Christine Y. Kim和惠特尼美术馆的助理策展人Rujeko Hockley配对。 （会员免费，非会员20美元。需要注册。）
鲁克（Rooks）是梅赫勒图（Mehretu）作品的早期和热情拥护者，他对自己的作品赞不绝口，并将其作品的规模比作塞西尔·B·迪米尔（Cecil B. DeMille）的电影。
“Julie is one of the most consequential artists in the first quarter of this century,” he says. “She has managed to synthesize histories told and untold, and history in the making, with our present moment beset by dislocation and turmoil. Among the histories with which she contends is the history of visual culture, particularly the language of abstraction, which powerfully expresses the fragmentation, splintering, formation and reformation of our present moment.”
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