Interview with the American artist Julie Mehretu about how her perspective is the result of a "very important shift" in her life which occurred when her family moved to the US from Ethiopia. Mehretu fuses forms in order to create an 'in-between place', also for herself personally, she explains.
In this interview New York based Ethiopian artist Julie Mehretu (b.1970) talks about how she uses abstract art to create a psychological space for herself. Mehretu explains how her perspective and interest is informed by this "very important shift" which occurred when her family moved to the US right after the Ethiopian revolution. Her paintings are in some ways an attempt at making sense of herself as situated in a kind of in-between psychological space: "There's this type of spacial shift that has occurred, and there's a connection, a kind of psychological space, making sense of a place."
Julie Mehretu explains that she likes working with abstraction because it is "an in-between place". New forms are created through the intermingling of space and drawing, social and political elements and controlled moments combined with the intuitive. The paintings have many levels of reading, feeling, engaging, and they have no beginning nor end, Mehretu says: "You can see through everything."
Julie Mehretu is known for her densely-layered abstract paintings and prints. Her paintings are built up through layers of acrylic paint on canvas, overlaid with mark-making using pencil, pen, ink and thick streams of paint. Her canvases overlay different architectural features.
Julie Mehretu was interviewed by Jesper Bundgaard at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York 2013.
Camera and editing: Per Henriksen
Produced by Louisiana Channel
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013.
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Supported by Nordea-fonden
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall
Julie Mehretu with Shahira Fahmy, Mario Gooden, and Mabel Wilson, Columbia University GSAPP
Cairo, Tunis, Tripoli, Casablanca, Algiers: the Arab Spring was also an African one. Acclaimed artist Julie Mehretu is joined by Global Africa Lab Directors Mabel Wilson and Mario Gooden and GSAPP Visiting Professor Shahira Fahmy.
In Beloved (Cairo), Mehretu's stunning 10 x 24 foot painting of the city in flux, abstract marks and architectural drawings depict the Nile, Tahrir Square, the Hilton, and "the space in between, the moment of imagining what is possible and yet not knowing what that is" to provide a touchstone for this conversation on art, architecture, protest, and social change in African cities today.
Organized by the Global Africa Lab