Julie Mehretu is an artist whose paintings have been described by curator Douglas Fogle as ‘perfect metaphors for the increasingly interconnected and complex character of the 21st century’. She frequently works on a large scale layering different media in compositions that make reference to contemporary issues of place, space, and time. Her 2012 work Mogamma, A Painting in Four Parts: Part 3 was recently acquired by Tate. This series takes its name from a government building on Cairo’s Tahrir Square, scene of the Arab Spring uprising and draws links to postcolonial pasts and political futures through the repeated motif of urban squares as sites of uprising and rebellion.
Speaking in conversation with Tim Marlow, Director of Artistic Programmes at The Royal Academy, Julie Mehretu’s talk is part of the American Artist Lecture Series, a partnership between Art In Embassies, Tate Modern and US Embassy London. It seeks to bring the greatest living modern and contemporary American artists to the UK in the name of cultural diplomacy.
Julie Mehretu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1970 and lives and works in New York City and Berlin.
Mehretu is a recipient of many awards, including the The MacArthur Award (2005), the Berlin Prize: Guna S. Mundheim Fellowship at The American Academy in Berlin, Germany (2007) and the Barnett and Annalee Newman Award (2013).
She has shown extensively in international and national exhibitions.