Analysis Of Julie Mehretu 's Paintings

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Julie Mehretu’s paintings are loosely termed history paintings by Douglas Fogle and called psychogeographies by the artist herself. A viewer is supposed to find something in themselves much like exploring a city and figuring things out for one’s own self-interest. Mehretu is quoted as saying “my aim is to have a picture that appears one way from a distance-almost like a cosmology, city, or universe from afar- but then when you approach the work, the overall image shatters into numerous other pictures, stories, and events. Historically drawing is seen as inferior to painting which makes it interesting that Julie Mehretu would employ so much drawing into her canvases because drawing is important to architectural drawings. How does the mapping nature of Julie Mehretu’s paintings convey a sense of identity in a very political nature and how is it a representation of the post colonialist world in which we inhabit? Scholars all seem to agree that Mehretu’s canvases are maps, but what do they seek to accomplish? My analysis of Mehretu’s Stadia III will use a biographical and post colonialist methodology to explore the ways in which Mehretu’s own upbringing and how the very nature of her map making, though very artificial, can be seen as a way of both bringing us together and giving those groups that have previously been neglected throughout history a voice. John B. Ravenal, the curator for the Modern and Contemporary Art collection at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA),

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