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Julie Mehretu puts the finishing touches on her large-scale painting Mural at Goldman Sachs, adjusting shapes and colors in dialogue with the architecture and views from the street.More information and credits
Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Wesley Miller. Camera & Sound: Nick Ravich. Editor: Mary Ann Toman. Thanks: Erika Fortner; Jessica Kingdon; Goldman, Sachs, & Co.; Harmony Murphy; and Damien Young.
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Julie Mehretu’s paintings and drawings refer to elements of mapping and architecture, achieving a calligraphic complexity that resembles turbulent atmospheres and dense social networks. Architectural renderings and aerial views of urban grids enter the work as fragments, losing their real-world specificity and challenging narrow geographic and cultural readings. The paintings’ wax-like surfaces—built up over weeks and months in thin translucent layers—have a luminous warmth and spatial depth. Her works engage the history of nonobjective art—from Constructivism to Futurism—posing contemporary questions about the relationship between utopian impulses and abstraction.