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Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu at work

Entropia (review)

Highpoint Editions’ inaugural publication is a print by Julie Mehretu, co-published with the Walker Art Center through a program supported by the Surdna Foundation. The edition commemorates her yearlong artist residency at the Walker, which culminated in 2003 in an exhibition and catalogue featuring nine newly commissioned, large scale paintings. It was during this in-residence period that Mehretu began her collaboration with Highpoint Editions Master Printer Cole Rogers, with whom she worked closely to develop a complex marriage of screen print and lithographic techniques that could faithfully translate her luminous, layered imagery to printmaking. To create the print’s broad palette, Mehretu developed a working drawing on her computer that was used to create stencils and match ink colors for the first screenpritned layers. She then created four detailed drawings on translucent drafting paper. These became lithographic plates, which were printed on the first layers, after which more screenprinting was added. At 32 colors, the 33.5″ x 44″ print is an innovative work on paper and a testament to the tradition of collaborative printshops.

Mehretu was born in Ethiopia and raised in the United States. She is an MFA graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, and has studied at the Core Artists in Residence Program in Houston, Texas. She was a 2002–2003 artist-in-residence at the Walker Art Center, where she worked with East African high schoolers on a multimedia project, and had a summer 2003 exhibition of nine commissioned paintings in Gallery 7. Mehretu’s work was also part of the 2001 Walker exhibit Painting at the Edge of the World. More recently, her paintings and drawings been shown in London, Korea, and Lithuania, and have been included in several exhibitions in her current hometown of New York City (including Drawing Now: Eight Propositions at the Museum on Modern Art in Queens, (2002).