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Julie Mehretu Drawings and Monotypes

22 January – 24 March 2019

Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1970, and now resident in New York, Julie Mehretu is among the most highly regarded artists working today.

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A recent painting by the artist, Ghosthymn, was included in the exhibition Actions. The image of the world can be different, which marked the re-opening of Kettle’s Yard in 2018.

For this exhibition, Mehretu made a new installation of richly layered drawings and monotypes, extending her dynamic exploration of the potential of drawing and mark making which are fundamental to her artistic practice. Inspired by current world issues, her personal biography, and the history of abstraction, Mehretu’s powerful works interrogate the present with urgency and lyricism.




Now and then an artist comes along who turns every critical cliche on its head and proves the experts know nothing about where art is going. Julie Mehretu is one of those heroes.

Jonathan Jones, The Guardian


Photos: Stephen White

About Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu makes large-scale, gestural paintings that are built up through layers of acrylic paint on canvas overlaid with mark-making using pencil, pen, ink and thick streams of paint.

Julie Mehretu was born in Addis Ababa in 1970 and lives and works in New York.  Mehretu has exhibited extensively including solo exhibitions at Serralves Museum, Porto, Portugal (2017); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010); Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2009); The Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan (2007) touring to Williams College Art Gallery, Williamstown, Massachusetts and North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh (both 2008) and St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri (2005).

In 2005 Mehretu was the recipient of the American Art Award from the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as the prestigious MacArthur Fellows Award. In 2015 she was awarded the US Department of State Medal of Arts Award.

In 2017, a monumental two-part painting, ‘HOWL, eon’ (I, II) commissioned by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art was unveiled as a major, long-term installation in the lobby of the museum. An upcoming survey co-organised by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, opens at LACMA in Autumn 2019 and will tour to other major US venues throughout 2020.