Julie Mehertu is on view in New York now at Marion Goodman Gallery and is to not be missed if your in that town.
Julie Mehretu’s paintings are structured through layers of clear acrylic, architectural tracings, drawing, ink, graphite, erasure and mark-making. The works are built up in stages with additive elements generating, erasing, or re-inscribing the previous. Culled from archival sources, with architectural structures serving as a foundation for her renderings--- from ancient city plans, civic buildings, urban designs, public squares, tombs, palaces, ruins – the paintings combine meticulous graphic drawing with spontaneous gesture. Mehretu begins with the premise of architecture as a medium of social history and power and proceeds to imagine a new present, a fictional topography realized through a formal vocabulary of line, color, gesture, markings, grids, characters, swarms, blurs, washes, which are overlaid and stratified on the surface of the canvas. In exploring palimpsests of history, from geological time to a modern day phenomenology of the social, the works engage us in a dynamic visual articulation of contemporary experience, a depiction of social behavior and the psychogeography of space. “I am interested in ways to picture or map [civilization] … weaving in and out of functioning, resistance, understanding.”1 “I am interested in the potential of ‘psychogeographies’, which suggests that within an invisible and invented creative space the individual can tap a resource of self-determination and resistance. […] This impulse is a major generating force in my drawing and my larger conceptual project as a painter.”2