Today’s Studio Sunday will focus on the art studio of Julie Mehretu. Julie Mehretu is known for her extremely large-scale paintings that feature abstract, geometric motifs and lines that give a strong sense of movement.
Mehretu’s studio must be quite spacious to accommodate the large size of many of her paintings. One painting that was commissioned for an office building in Manhattan was 80 feet long and 23 feet wide. In this case, the work would have been mostly assembled on site, with Mehretu employing assistants, while also putting in her own finishing touches. For slightly less expansive pieces, Julie works in her studio in New York, which she shares with her partner and fellow artist Jessica Rankin.
While known mainly for her paintings, Julie Mehretu is also a printmaker and drawer, and her studio has equipment and supplies for both these practices. Working on large sheets on paper, she creates abstract drawings and prints that are similar to her paintings, with patterns of line and shape swirling across the page in wild, cyclonic strokes. While these drawings are more gestural in appearance, the same essence shines through in her more polished paintings – layers upon layers of complex information come together to create an image that is intense and frantic, yet somehow open and welcoming.