Julie Mehretu: Liminal Squared

"I am interested in the multifaceted layers of place, space, and time that impact the formation of personal and communal identity." - Julie Mehretu

The catalogue for Liminal Squared was published  on the occasion of joint exhibitions between White Cube and Marian Goodman Gallery.

This exhibition featured new and recent paintings, some of which will be presented within a specially constructed environment designed by David Adjaye in close collaboration with the artist. Described by curator Douglas Fogle as ‘perfect metaphors for the increasingly interconnected and complex character of the 21st century’, Mehretu's large-scale paintings, which are built up in layers, employ a broad lexicon of drawing techniques together with a precise, muscular abstraction to investigate the intersection of politics, architecture and history and the way these forces shape the formation of our social identity.

The exhibition, which featured five new works, centred around ‘Mogamma: A Painting in Four Parts’, the collective name for four monumental canvases. The ‘Mogamma’ works, which were completed in 2012 shortly after the time of the Arab Spring revolutions, have evolved out of Mehretu's investigations into how architecture and geographical space, particularly within urban centres, become sites for political and mythological projection. ‘I think architecture reflects the machinations of politics, and that's why I am interested in it as a metaphor for those institutions. I don't think of architectural language as just a metaphor about space, but about spaces of power, about ideas of power’, Mehretu explains.

Julie Mehretu was born in 1970 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and lives and works in New York and Berlin. She has participated in numerous international exhibitions and biennials and has received international recognition for her work.

Text by Tacita Dean and T.J. Demos
Designed by Tracey Shiffman and Alex Kohnke with James Ihira, Shiffman & Kohnke
Hardback, 132pp, Illustrated
Published by Marian Goodman Gallery and White Cube 2013

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