julie mehretu unveils 'ensemble', her largest european exhibition at palazzo grassi venice

julie mehretu unveils 'ensemble', her largest european exhibition at palazzo grassi venice

JULIE MEHRETU’s Ensemble at Palazzo Grassi

 

From March 17th, 2024, to January 6th, 2025, Palazzo Grassi in Venice hosts Ensemble, Europe’s most extensive exhibition of Julie Mehretu’s art to date. Curated by Caroline Bourgeois, the Pinault Collection’s Chief Curator, in collaboration with Mehretu herself, the exhibit showcases over fifty pieces spanning 25 years, encompassing paintings and prints, including her latest works from 2021-2024. Spanning two floors, the show features 17 pieces from the Pinault Collection alongside loans from global museums and private collectors.

 

Interspersed throughout the exhibition are pieces by Mehretu’s closest artist friends, with whom she shares a profound connection cultivated over the years through collaboration and exchange. The exhibition, designed around visual resonance, offers a non-linear exploration of Mehretu’s oeuvre. designboom had the privilege of experiencing the exhibition firsthand, delving into Mehretu’s artistic journey to understand how it came into being and is constantly renewed.

julie mehretu unveils largest european exhibition yet at palazzo grassi in venice
Julie Mehretu​, Among the Multitude XIII, ​2021-2022​, private collection. installation view, ‘Julie Mehretu. Ensemble’, 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection

 

 

Interconnected Narratives and Collective Ethos

 

At Palazzo Grassi, Julie Mehretu (find more here) unveils a tapestry of her artistic journey, where the Venetian Classical architecture intertwines with the artist’s dynamic style. Alongside Mehretu’s own pieces, works by her peers—Nairy Baghramian, Huma Bhabha, Tacita Dean, David Hammons, Robin Coste Lewis, Paul Pfeiffer, and Jessica Rankin—engage in a vibrant discourse, revealing shared themes and driving forces that transcend formal disparities. This juxtaposition challenges the notion of the solitary artist, highlighting instead the interconnectedness with others, their ideologies, and emotions. Each artist’s narrative, shaped by personal displacements from Ethiopia, Iran, or Pakistan, resonates deeply with Mehretu’s own experiences, underscoring her profound appreciation for interwoven relationships and their creative potency. The exhibition unfolds as a mosaic of images, resonating with the collective ethos and the spirit of collaboration. 

 

The show is accompanied by a visitor’s guide and a catalogue published by Marsilio Arte, Venice, with texts by Hilton Als, Caroline Bourgeois, Patricia Falguières, Julie Mehretu, Jason Moran and two conversations, one between Julie Mehretu, Paul Pfeiffer and Lawrence Chua and another between Julie Mehretu and Caroline Bourgeois. The exhibition will also be enriched by a series of conferences and cultural events open to the public, that will bring light to the protagonists of the project and explore its themes within the frame of the cultural programme of the Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi.

 

Pinault Collection (find more here) also presents the Liminal exhibition by Pierre Huyghe at Punta Della Dogana, an enchanting venue nestled within one of Venice’s historic customs buildings. Here, Huyghe transforms the space into a dynamic and sensitive environment that is in a perpetual state of evolution. The exhibition is a transitory state inhabited by human and non-human creatures and becomes the site of formation of subjectivities that are constantly learning, changing, and hybridizing. With Liminal, Pierre Huyghe invites us to follow other realities, to become strangers to ourselves from a perspective other than human—inhuman.

julie mehretu unveils largest european exhibition yet at palazzo grassi in venice
Julie Mehretu, Your hands are like two shovels, digging in me (sphinx), 2021-2022, courtesy of the artist and White Cube. installation view, ‘Julie Mehretu. Ensemble’, 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection

julie mehretu unveils largest european exhibition yet at palazzo grassi in venice
Julie Mehretu​, TRANSpaintings (hand), 2023, courtesy of the artist and White Cube. installation view, ‘Julie Mehretu. Ensemble’, 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection

julie mehretu unveils largest european exhibition yet at palazzo grassi in venice
Julie Mehretu​, TRANSpaintings, 2023-2024, courtesy of the artist and White Cube. installation view, ‘Julie Mehretu. Ensemble’, 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection

julie mehretu unveils 'ensemble', her largest european exhibition at palazzo grassi venice
Julie Mehretu​, TRANSpaintings, 2023-2024, courtesy of the artist and White Cube. installation view, ‘Julie Mehretu. Ensemble’, 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection

julie mehretu unveils largest european exhibition yet at palazzo grassi in venice
image © designboom

julie mehretu unveils 'ensemble', her largest european exhibition at palazzo grassi venice
Foreground – Left to right Nairy Baghramian, S’allongeant, 2022, courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City, New York installation view, ‘Julie Mehretu. Ensemble’, 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection

julie-mehretu-largest-european-exhibition-ensemble-palazzo-grassi-venice-designboom-full-01

Julie Mehretu, Invisible Line (collective), 2010-2011, Pinault Collection. installation view, ‘Julie Mehretu. Ensemble’, 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection

julie mehretu unveils 'ensemble', her largest european exhibition at palazzo grassi venice
Julie Mehretu​, Among the Multitude XIII, 2021-2022, private Collection. installation view, ‘Julie Mehretu. Ensemble’, 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection

julie mehretu unveils 'ensemble', her largest european exhibition at palazzo grassi venice
(foregroung) Huma Bhabha, New Human, 2023, courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner. installation view, ‘Julie Mehretu. Ensemble’, 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. Ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection – (background) Julie Mehretu, Invisible Line (collective), 2010-2011, Pinault Collection. installation view, ‘Julie Mehretu. Ensemble’, 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection

julie mehretu unveils largest european exhibition yet at palazzo grassi in venice
Julie Mehretu, Epigraph, Damascus, 2016, courtesy of the artist and BORCH Editions. installation view, ‘Julie Mehretu. Ensemble’, 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection

julie mehretu unveils 'ensemble', her largest european exhibition at palazzo grassi venice
image © designboom

julie mehretu unveils 'ensemble', her largest european exhibition at palazzo grassi venice
image © designboom

julie mehretu unveils 'ensemble', her largest european exhibition at palazzo grassi venice
image © designboom

 

 

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foreground - left to right Nairy Baghramian, S’accrochant (crépuscule), 2022, courtesy of the artist and krimanzutto, Mexico City, New York installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault CollectionNairy Baghramian, Se levant (mauve), 2022, courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City, New York installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collectionbackground- left to right Julie Mehretu, Orient (after D. Cherry, post Irma and summer), 2017-2020, private collection installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault CollectionJulie Mehretu, They departed for their own country another day, 2023, courtesy YAGEO Foundation Collection, Taiwan Installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection
foreground - left to right Nairy Baghramian, S’accrochant (crépuscule), 2022, courtesy of the artist and krimanzutto, Mexico City, New York installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault CollectionNairy Baghramian, Se levant (mauve), 2022, courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City, New York installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collectionbackground- left to right Julie Mehretu, Orient (after D. Cherry, post Irma and summer), 2017-2020, private collection installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault CollectionJulie Mehretu, They departed for their own country another day, 2023, courtesy YAGEO Foundation Collection, Taiwan Installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection
Julie Mehretu, Maahes (Mihos) torch, 2018-2019, Pinault Collection Installation view, “Julie Mehretu. Ensemble”, 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. Ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection
Julie Mehretu, Maahes (Mihos) torch, 2018-2019, Pinault Collection Installation view, “Julie Mehretu. Ensemble”, 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. Ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection
foregroung Huma Bhabha, The Kind One, 2023, courtesy the artist and David Zwirner installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection
foregroung Huma Bhabha, The Kind One, 2023, courtesy the artist and David Zwirner installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection
Julie Mehretu, (from left to right), Sun Ship (J.C.), 2018, Pinault Collection, Loop (B. Lozano, Bolsonaro eve), 2019-2020, Pinault Collection. installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection
Julie Mehretu, (from left to right), Sun Ship (J.C.), 2018, Pinault Collection, Loop (B. Lozano, Bolsonaro eve), 2019-2020, Pinault Collection. installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection
Julie Mehretu, Desire was our breastplate, 2022-2023, Pinault Collection. installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection
Julie Mehretu, Desire was our breastplate, 2022-2023, Pinault Collection. installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection
left to right Julie Mehretu, Being Higher I, 2013, Tiqui Atencio for Artapar Art Trust. installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault CollectionPaul Pfeiffer, Incarnator (Manila), 2021, Justin Bieber Torso (Manila), courtesy the artist and carlier | gebauer (Berlin/Madrid). installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault CollectionPaul Pfeiffer, Incarnator (Manila), 2021, Justin Bieber Right Arm (Manila), Courtesy the artist and carlier | gebauer (Berlin/Madrid). installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection
left to right Julie Mehretu, Being Higher I, 2013, Tiqui Atencio for Artapar Art Trust. installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault CollectionPaul Pfeiffer, Incarnator (Manila), 2021, Justin Bieber Torso (Manila), courtesy the artist and carlier | gebauer (Berlin/Madrid). installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault CollectionPaul Pfeiffer, Incarnator (Manila), 2021, Justin Bieber Right Arm (Manila), Courtesy the artist and carlier | gebauer (Berlin/Madrid). installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection
left to right Julie Mehretu, Among the Multitude VIII, 2020-2022, The Detroit Institute of Arts Museum. purchase, Modern and Contemporary Art General Fund with funds from the David Kabiller Family Foundation. installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault CollectionPaul Pfeiffer, Child’s feet, 2021, Courtesy the artist and carlier | gebauer, (Berlin/Madrid). installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection
left to right Julie Mehretu, Among the Multitude VIII, 2020-2022, The Detroit Institute of Arts Museum. purchase, Modern and Contemporary Art General Fund with funds from the David Kabiller Family Foundation. installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault CollectionPaul Pfeiffer, Child’s feet, 2021, Courtesy the artist and carlier | gebauer, (Berlin/Madrid). installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection
left to right Jessica Rankin, Or Spirit Everywhere, 2023, collection of the artist. installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault CollectionPaul Pfeiffer, Incarnator (Pampanga), 2018, Courtesy the artist and carlier | gebauer (Berlin/Madrid). installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection
left to right Jessica Rankin, Or Spirit Everywhere, 2023, collection of the artist. installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault CollectionPaul Pfeiffer, Incarnator (Pampanga), 2018, Courtesy the artist and carlier | gebauer (Berlin/Madrid). installation view, 'Julie Mehretu. Ensemble', 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection

project info:

 

name: Ensemble
artist: Julie Mehretu | @juliemehretu
location: Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy
dates: 17 March 2024 – 6 January 2025 

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