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 Julie Mehretu,

Julie Mehretu

Untitled, 2006

Graphite, watercolor and ink on paper

27 1/2 x 40 inches 

 Julie Mehretu,

Julie Mehretu

Untitled, 2001

Ink and acrylic on canvas

Each panel: 72 x 96 inches

 Julie Mehretu,

Julie Mehretu

Myriads, Only By Dark, 2014

4 panel, multi-colored aquatint and spit bite 

Each panel: 81 x 45 inches 

Edition of 30


Press Release


Paintings and Works on Paper

April 10– May 16, 2015

John Berggruen Gallery is delighted to present an exhibition of paintings and works on paper by acclaimed New York-based artist Julie Mehretu.

The works on display in this exhibition demonstrate Mehretu’s commitment to producing abstracted geographies materialized as richly layered artworks that invite inspection and inquiry. Mehretu draws inspiration from a wide body of sources ranging from architectural imagery and maps to street art and comic books. She transforms familiar signs and symbols from these sources into large-scale complexes of line, color, and form that fluently convey the velocity and dynamism of the modern condition. The compositional elements in her works seem to occupy three dimensions, advancing and receding within the confines of the frame so that the works are imbued with a distinct energy born of tension. Explosions are a common motif found throughout her oeuvre. Infused with the traces of a profoundly personal narrative spanning three continents, the works communicate not only the artist’s interest in place, space, and time, but also subtly put forth her own reading and response to the intangible forces which shape the built and unbuilt environment, including power dynamics, political principles, and (global and local) histories.

Mehretu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1970. She grew up in Michigan, and attended the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar and Kalamazoo College, obtaining her bachelor’s degree from the latter in 1992. Mehretu then went on to earn her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1997. Since then, she has been living and working primarily in New York (with periodic stints at her second studio in Berlin). She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Whitney’s American Art Award, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the American Academy and Berlin Fellowship, the Mitchell Foundation Grant, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, and the Penny McCall Foundation Grant. Mehretu’s work has been exhibited worldwide, including in solo shows at the Guggenheim Museum, New York (accompanied by an exhibition catalogue); Deutsche Guggenheim Museum, Berlin; and Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit. Her art is also in the permanent collections of the following institutions: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, among others.

For further information and for photographs, please contact the gallery at (415) 781-4629 or at

Gallery hours:                                    Monday - Friday:   9:30-5:30,  Saturday:  10:30-5:00