Incorporating the dynamic visual vocabulary of maps, urban planning grids, and architectural forms, alternating between historical narratives and fictional landscapes, Julie Mehretu’s beautifully layered paintings and drawings combine abstract forms with the familiar, pairing the Roman Coliseum with floor plans from international airports, Le Corbusier’s unbuilt megacity with blueprints from Zaha Hadid and Tadao Ando, and dashing it all together with a color field full of abstract geometry. What does a city in motion look like? The closest picture of it exists in Mehretu’s semiabstractions, their maelstroms of color and line, power, history, globalism and personal narrative frozen, swirled and encased in coats of accumulated resin.
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