Julie Mehretu in the Studio

One of the most influential artists of her generation.

Exploring the history and politics of the urban environment.

Julie Mehretu  Artist

b. 1970

Julie Mehretu

On her large-scale canvases and murals, Julie Mehretu layers, erases, and relayers ink, pencil, and acrylic paint (sometimes sprayed or screen-printed) in a manner that conjures the dynamism of the Futurists, the scale and physicality of Abstract Expressionism, and the divergent mark-making of Albrecht Dürer, Eastern calligraphy, and graffiti. Mehretu uses her eclectic mix of styles to explore the history and politics of the urban environment; her source material has included architectural plans, city maps, and photographs, which she has transposed onto her massive canvases via projection. Mehretu graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and has received the MacArthur Fellowship, the American Art Award granted by the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts. She’s been the subject of solo shows at the Guggenheim Museum, the Walker Art Center, and the Whitney, among other institutions, and has been featured in international showcases including the 2019 Venice Biennale, Documenta 13 (2012), and the 2004 Whitney Biennial. At auction, Mehretu’s work regularly sells for seven-figure prices.


Sort by:


Julie Mehretu (Ethiopian/American, b.1970) is an Abstract printmaker and painter. She was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and moved to Michigan with her family in 1977. She began her education at the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, and then went on to earn a BA in Art from Kalamazoo College, and a MFA from the Rhode Island School of Art and Design in 1997. Mehretu has lived and worked in New York, NY, since beginning her career in 1999, but she also has a studio in Berlin that she uses for part of each year. She produces large scale prints, drawings, and paintings that use heavy layering to create Abstract imagery from patterns and architectural photographs. Hundreds of thin and translucent layers of paint and paper cover the canvas of each painting. Critics have linked her work to nonliteral art movements ranging from Futurism to Constructivism. All of her works, regardless of format, involve symbolism drawn from graffiti, city maps, and comic book graphics. Explosions and sharp or arching line work are constant themes running throughout her body of work. Mehretu has drawn inspiration from the large-scale works of Jackson Pollock and Barnett Newman. One of the artist’s most widely known works is the 80-foot-wide mural located in Goldman Sachs tower entitled Mural. It is visible from the street, and was commissioned by the banking firm in 2010.

Julie Mehretu | Lougher Contemporary

Can't find the work you are looking for?

Our art sourcing service is bespoke to you. If you find the art market daunting, complex, or simply don't have the time to navigate it, we can help. By using our sourcing service you will benefit from our knowledge of contemporary art market and our trusted network of galleries and clients.

Find out more

Contact Us

Any questions?

Get in touch with the team and we will do our best to support you in your collecting journey.

Julie Mehretu's Solo Exhibition at the White Cube, Bermondsey

Julie Mehretu's Solo Exhibition at the White Cube, Bermondsey

Julie Mehretu's art has always been a journey—an exploration of space, identity, and the intricacies of the human experience. Her current solo exhibition at the White Cube in Bermondsey, London, is...