Julie Mehretu – White Cube Bermondsey

Julie Mehretu Liminal Squared White Cube Bermondsey London 1 May - 7 July 2013 (medium res) 4

Layers of ink, splashes of colour and densely layered cities.

Julie Mehretu’s paintings stretch from floor to ceiling – Liminal Squared centres around ‘Mogamma: A Painting in Four Parts’, the collective name for four monumental canvases that were recently included in dOCUMENTA (13).

Mogamma is a government building in Cairo and translates to ‘collective’ in Arabic.

This series has evolved from Mehretu’s investigations into architecture and geographical space – specifically in regards to space and power.

Julie Mehretu Sehkmet 2001-2013 (medium res)

David Adjaye has constructed an environment dislocating the sterile walls of the White Cube in exchange for subtle grey partitions. Creating an inspiring, museum-like setting, a calming cocoon for Mehretu’s chaotic grids and fragmented architectural sprawls.

Mehretu is interested in the way ‘architecture reflects the machinations of politics.

Julie Mehretu Mogamma Part 2 2012 (medium res)

From a distance the sheer scale of these paintings is overwhelming; Mehretu has layered hundreds of images taken from different squares around the world, arcs of colour and indistinct clouds – producing a mechanised impression of the contemporary urban experience – a transient vision of cities receding and new structures emerging.

Power, space and politics feature heavily in these abstracted amalgamations of city sprawl.

Julie Mehretuu, ‘Liminal Squared’, White Cube Bermondsey, London, © Julie Mehretu, Photo: Ben Westoby, Courtesy White Cube
Julie Mehretu, Sehkmet, 2001-2013, Ink and acrylic on canvas, 152.4 x 213.4 cm, © the artist, Photo: Edouard Fraipont, Courtesy White Cube
Julie Mehretu, Mogamma: Part 2, 2012, Ink and acrylic on canvas, 457.2 x 365.8 cm, © the artist, Photo: Ben Westoby, Courtesy White Cube

-Helen D. Cogswell

Julie Mehretu Liminal Squared is on display at the White Cube Bermondsey from 1 May – 7 July, 2013.  

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