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Watson and the Shark John Singleton Copley
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Watson and the Shark (46.310) — John Singleton Copley

Julie Mehretu: City Sitings

November 23, 2007–March 30, 2008

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Above: Julie Mehretu, Charioteer, 2007. Ink and acrylic on linen, 60 x 84 inches (152.4 x 213.4 cm) JM 0190.07 Collection of Nicolas Rohatyn and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, NY. Courtesy The Project. Photo credit: Steven Gerlich. ©2007 Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu: City Sitings inaugurates the central special exhibition galleries, located just to the south of Rivera Court. Mehretu, born in Ethiopia and raised and educated in Michigan and Rhode Island, has been described as a truly global artist, whose large, abstract paintings explore the often unwieldy issues of mobility, social organization, political entanglement, and global competition.

Most cities are built, dismantled, and rebuilt over time, yielding structures and spaces that reflect ongoing urban change. Mehretu’s paintings follow a similar course as she layers and, in her most recent works, erases information from her compositions, showing how each new level becomes a foundation for new iterations, stories, and identities. Embedded in her abstract images, are elements taken from architectural blue prints, maps, sports arenas, and commercial logos.

Five of the paintings in City Sitings were completed specifically for the exhibition. These new works demonstrate her fervent preoccupation with multiple, often conflicting, viewpoints.

The DIA recently received a Joyce Award in support of the exhibition Julie Mehretu: City Sitings. Click here to read more about this significant award.

This exhibition is organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts in collaboration with Julie Mehretu. Support has been provided through generous grants from the Joyce Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Additional support provided by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the City of Detroit.

Julie Mehretu in front of Rivera Murals

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