4/19/08 - 7/27/08

Julie Mehretu

Rebecca Hart '76, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Detroit Institute of Fine Arts

Julie Mehretu (b. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1970)’s work re-envisions urban experience and rewrites narratives of exclusion, reconciling divergent histories through her expansive, dynamic compositions. Evoking highly personalized, yet distinctly universal themes that draw on her experiences as a citizen of the world and of the city, Mehretu employs a dynamic visual vocabulary that combines maps, urban grids, and architectural renderings to articulate complex social and geopolitical structures. This exhibition brings together 12 of the artist’s monumental paintings inspired by community, history, and the built environment.

The exhibition is organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts in collaboration with Julie Mehretu. Support for this exhibition has been provided through generous grants from the Joyce Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

About the artist

Julie Mehretu was born to an Ethiopian father and American mother in Addis Ababa, the capitol city of Ethiopia. Her family emigrated when her father accepted a professorship in Michigan. Mehretu studied at Michigan’s Kalamazoo College (B.A., 1992) and Cheik Anta Diop University, in Dakar, Senegal. She received an M.F.A. with honors from Rhode Island School of Design (1997). She participates in numerous international biennials and exhibitions; individuals and museums collect her work. She receives international recognition for her work and, in 2005, became a MacArthur Fellow.