julie mehretu's exhibition at white cube london paints the chaos of our modern world

julie mehretu's exhibition at white cube london paints the chaos of our modern world

art 246 shares connections: +550

white cube presents julie mehretu solo exhibition

 

Julie Mehretu’s solo exhibition titled They departed for their own country another way (a 9x9x9 hauntology), is on view at White Cube Gallery in Bermondsey, London, from September 15 to November 5, 2023. Marking her fifth collaboration with the gallery, the show debuts three new series of nine paintings each.

For this show, Mehretu, who has been announced as the 20th BMW Art Car artist (see designboom’s coverage here), draws inspiration from the biblical verse Matthew 2:12, in which God warns the Magi to return home a different way after paying homage to the infant Jesus. This admonition resonates poignantly with the artist’s new work, which continues her exploration of our discordant contemporary moment. Focused on enduring conflict, widespread displacement, and the asymmetry of power, Mehretu sources images from current affairs media, particularly the ongoing war in Ukraine and the events of the US Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021. designboom had the opportunity to visit the exhibition during Frieze Week 2023 (see designboom’s guide here) and view Julie Mehretu’s expressive works. 

julie mehretu's exhibition at white cube london paints the chaos of our modern world
Julie Mehretu, They departed for their own country another way, 2023 | all images courtesy of White Cube

 

 

Julie Mehretu in conversation with Nairy Baghramian

 

In White Cube Bermondsey’s 9x9x9 gallery, Julie Mehretu, jointly represented by White Cube (find more here) and Marian Goodmn Gallery, pairs her paintings with a sculpture by Nairy Baghramian in response to an ongoing dialogue between the two artists. Mehretu’s They departed for their own country another way (2023) is displayed alongside Baghramian’s abstract S’asseyant (2022), a three-part slab of cast aluminum and silicon that rests prostrate on the floor. Baghramian’s work expresses a cogent presence in the space, perceived by Mehretu as ‘the impression of a body that has gotten up and walked away, or detritus after a tragic event that caused the body to melt and leave behind a scarred impression on rough aluminium.’

In contrast to Mehretu’s gestural dynamism, Baghramian’s sculpture’s materiality acts as a mooring in the space. In tandem, both the painting and sculpture share a vitality born out of erasure and fragmentation, compelling one another to embody their respective imperfection and the ‘liberation of the figure, or of representation itself.’

julie mehretu's exhibition at white cube london paints the chaos of our modern world
Julie Mehretu pairs her paintings with the sculptural works of Nairy Baghramian

 

 

Julie Mehretu’s Vision of Our Chaotic World

 

Julie Mehretu’s series of ‘classic’ paintings are displayed in the South Gallery II at White Cube Bermondsey. To create them, she uses a special process, which involves digitally obscuring the original images and adding layers of paint and other materials to create a sense of chaos and confusion. Mehretu’s paintings are based on images of geopolitical violence and the struggles of nations to maintain their identity. She uses her process to break down these images and create new ones that reflect the impact of violence and the way that people respond to it.

 

In the same gallery, Julie Mehretu has installed a new group of works called TRANSpaintings. These are hung on aluminum frames and scaffolds, which are designed to support them and allow them to stand upright. The frames and scaffolds are also part of an ongoing conversation between Mehretu and Nairy Baghramian. TRANSpaintings are made of translucent material, which allows light to pass through them. This creates a shimmering effect and makes the images seem to move as you walk around the gallery.

 

The third and final part of the exhibition is a series of paintings called Femenine in nine. These works are different from the other paintings in the exhibition because they don’t refer to specific images or events. Instead, they are more abstract and expressive. The pieces are full of bright colors and swirling marks that seem to come to life as visitors move around the space. The paintings also change color depending on where the viewer is standing. The resulting works are meant to reflect the chaos and uncertainty of our contemporary world.

julie mehretu's exhibition at white cube london paints the chaos of our modern world
TRANSpaintings are hung on aluminum frames and scaffolds

julie mehretu's exhibition at white cube london paints the chaos of our modern world
Meretu’s paintings are full of colorful, expressive swirls

julie mehretu's exhibition at white cube london paints the chaos of our modern world
some of Mehretu’s works are more abstract, while others refer to specific images and events

julie-mehretu-white-cube-designboom-full-01

Julie Mehretu, They departed for their own country another way, 2023

julie mehretu's exhibition at white cube london paints the chaos of our modern world
some of the paintings change appearance depending on the viewer’s position in the gallery space

julie mehretu's exhibition at white cube london paints the chaos of our modern world
installation view of They departed for their own country another way (a 9x9x9 hauntology)

 

 

1/4
image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom

project info: 

name: They departed for their own country another way (a 9x9x9 hauntology)
artist: Julie Mehretu represented by White Cube and Marian Goodman Gallery
location: White Cube Bermondsey, London
dates: September 15 to November 5, 2023

KEEP UP WITH OUR DAILY AND WEEKLY NEWSLETTERS
suscribe on designboom
- see sample
- see sample
suscribe on designboom

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999
X
5