JULIE MEHRETU: The Addis Show

Conjured Parts (tongues) 2015 Ink and Acrylic on Canvas 96 x 120 inches; 243.8 x 304.8 cm

July 8-August 6, 2016

The Modern Art Museum Gebre Kristos Desta Center in collaboration with the United States Embassy is very pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition, Julie Mehretu: The Addis Show, from July 8, 2016 to August 6, 2016. The show will feature 17 of Mehretu's paintings, ranging from her earliest paintings to her most recent works. The Museum is especially pleased to host this show as it will mark the first time that Mehretu will exhibit her work in Ethiopia, where she was born and raised until she was 7.

Julie Mehretu is widely considered one of the finest painters of her generation. She is known for her densely layered and mesmerizing abstract paintings, which often gesture to the language of architecture and geography as inspiration for abstract compositions, as well as commentary on the complex social worlds we inhabit. Mehretu’s work offers not only a new form of visual abstraction, but also a new perspective of the social and geographic networks that underpin the modern world.

We are also delighted to announce that along with the exhibition, we have planned a series of events with the artist, including a daylong symposium featuring artists, architects, curators and art historians, and workshops and lectures at Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar Universities. 

About the Artist

Julie Mehretu was born in Addis Ababa in 1970 and currently lives and works in New York City. She studied at University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar and earned her BA from Kalamazoo College, and MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. She has exhibited in several important group shows including Istanbul Biennial (2003); Whitney Biennial and São Paolo Biennial (2004); the Biennale of Sydney and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006); British Museum (2010); and Documenta XIII, Kassel (2012). Solo exhibitions include Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2003); St Louis Art Museum (2005); MUSAC, Léon, Spain (2006); Detroit Institute of Art and Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark (2007); Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2009) and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010). Among Mehretu’s awards are the Berlin Prize (2007) from the American Academy in Berlin; a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award (2005); and the American Art Award from the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2005). In 2015 she was honored with the US State Department's National Medal of Arts.

Julie is an incomparable artist with a visual idiom that is all her own. Abstraction, architecture, color, painterly notations, and scale conspire together in her paintings, drawing in and ultimately arresting our gaze.
— Dagmawi Woubshet Curator, Julie Mehretu: The Addis Show
In compelling vivid imageries, Mehretu explores the multiple languages of
color.
— Elizabeth Wolde Giorgis Director, The Modern Art Museum Gebre Kristos Desta Center
Lines, shapes and colors on Julie’s paintings feel physically confronting.
— Berhanu Ashagrie Deribew - Director, Alle School of Fine Arts & Design