High Museum to present exhibition of work by Ethiopian artist Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu, Mogamma (A Painting in Four Parts), 2012

This fall, the High Museum will present “Julie Mehretu” (Oct. 23 – Jan. 31, a major traveling exhibition for the celebrated contemporary artist and the first comprehensive survey to explore her two-decade career. 

This is the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s career, covering more than two decades of her work, from 1996 to the present, and uniting nearly 40 drawings and prints and 35 paintings predominantly monumental in size and scale.

According to exhibition press materials, Mehretu’s work bears witness to the shaping of human consciousness through the combination and reconfiguration of sources and images that address history and its intersection with the present. Her process involves compiling a vast and diverse archive of sources, including diagrams and maps, cave markings, Chinese calligraphy, architectural renderings, graffiti, photojournalism and texts. The exhibition also reveals the centrality of drawing in Mehretu’s artistic practice, from her diminutive drawings made in the 1990s to her monumental paintings of the 2000s, and explores the abiding influences of indexing, diagramming, and mapping as well as their techniques, aesthetics, and ideologies.  

Julie Mehretu,Stadia II, 2004

Mehretu’s work of the past decade draws from present-day images of natural disasters, human rights atrocities and global conflicts. Her most recent work in the exhibition refers to the detention camps holding migrant children along the southern border of the United States and is often scaled to the size and reach of her body.

A highlight of the exhibition is Mehretu’s cycle of four monumentally scaled paintings titled?“Mogamma (A Painting in Four Parts)”?(2012). Reunited for the first time since they were last shown together in 2013, “Mogamma”?interrogates themes of migration, revolution, global capitalism and technology at the dawn of the Arab Spring. Each painting in the cycle belongs to four different museums across three continents. The High Museum of Art acquired?“Mogamma (Part 2)”?in 2013. 

“We are grateful for the opportunity to present this sweeping examination of Mehretu’s dynamic, multi-faceted career,” said Rand Suffolk, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director of the High.?“The globally conscience themes in her work align strongly with our commitment to celebrating diverse perspectives through the High’s collection and exhibition program. We look forward to offering our audiences a chance to experience a broad spectrum of her creative genius.”  

For more information, visit high.org.

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