los-angeles

Julie Mehretu

Gallery at REDCAT

Julie Mehretu’s intertwined compositions in ink and acrylic on canvas, which range from easel size to monumental, are, to use a word that is particularly charged at the moment, explosive. Though shape and color punctuate her paintings, line dominates, defining swirls and sprays that seem to result from a sudden, massive force. Mehretu builds the paintings from misty transparent and translucent layers, each with its own set of marks and imagery—something like handpainted versions of the collapsed strata utilized in graphics and imaging software. They suggest both an endless void and a tangle of information that hovers in a visual, and perhaps psychological, middle space. Earthly and heavenly viewpoints are repeatedly confused.

Mehretu superimposes torrents of wind, rain, and fire—peppered with explosions and plumes of smoke—over hard lines of maps, roadway schematics, architectural diagrams,

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