JULIE MEHRETU DRAWINGS edited by Catherine de Zegher
Rizzoli, 2006 First edition, 176 pp., 9 3/4" X 11 1/4" Hardover
A recent of the highly prestigious MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant,” Julie Mehretu is an important American artist. With several major solo exhibitions in the last few years, including a traveling exhibition organized by the Detroit Institute of the Arts that debuts in fall 2007, Mehretu has captivated her audience with her ambitious large-scale wall installations that include a dizzying array of signs, symbols, and motifs worked into compositions that take as their point of departure architectural renderings and sketches. While known primarily as a painter, it is the artist’s drawings that drive her work; she produces scores of major drawings a year (while her output of paintings generally never exceeds ten in a given year.) Concerned with how individuals come to understand their place in the world–both metaphorically and physically–through their identification with different communities or their experience of different places, Mehretu has created a body of work that is as dynamic as the subjects with which she is engaged. In this book–the most comprehensive study of her exquisite drawings–the fullness of her ideas and explorations of form are considered.