290 x 252 x 33mm
While known as a painter, Julie Mehretu's drawings, of which she has produced thousands, are the driving force of her work. The beginning point in her drawings is a socially charged public space - such as a government building, museum, stadium, school, and airport - drawn in the form of a map and diagram. She then layers on to these schematics a deeply personal series of markings, signs and symbols, imbuing it with a somewhat mysterious narrative, to create works that alternate between the real and the fictional and fantastical. This gorgeous volume, packaged in real cloth, will include 150 of the artist's drawings from the beginning of her career to present. Nancy Spector, curator at the Guggenheim Museum, will write an essay and Thelma Golden, director of the Studio Museum in Harlem, will contribute a foreword.
Julie Mehretu's work calls on a broad range of visual sources, including architectural drawings, building schematics, maps, and floor plans which are layered with references to high modernist abstraction (think Kasimir Malevich or El Lissitzky) and traditional history painting. The first thing the viewer sees is the work's resemblance to architectural renderings, but these are not static representations – the work is incredibly energetic and dynamic (many works resemble vortexes, giving the viewer the definite impression of a whirling motion) with a rich layering of motifs (tattoos, graffiti, newspaper photos, etc).