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Photo: Annette Hornischer

Artist, New York

Guna S. Mundheim Fellow in the Visual Arts - Class of Spring 2007

Julie Mehretu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1970 and lives and works in New York City and Berlin. She received an MFA with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1997, a BA from Kalamazoo College in 1992, and studied at University Cheik Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal.


In exploring palimpsests of history, from geological time to a modern day phenomenology of the social, Mehretu’s works engage us in a dynamic visual articulation of contemporary experience, a depiction of social behavior and the psychogeography of space.


Mehretu is a recipient of many awards, including the the MacArthur Award (2005), American Art Award granted by the Whitney Museum of American Art (2005), Rhode Island School of Design Alumni Council Artistic Achievement Award, RI (2006), and the Guna S. Mundheim Berlin Prize at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany (2007). In 2015 she was awarded the US Department of State Medal of Arts Award.


An important mid-career survey of Mehretu’s work opened in 2019 at Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, California, touring to High Museum of Art, GA (2020), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2021), and Walker Art Center, MN (2021-22).


Recent solo exhibitions include about the space of half an hour at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York (2020); Kettle’s Yard at the University of Cambridge, UK (2019); Fundacion Botín, Santander, Spain (2018); Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, Portugal (2017); the Modern Art Museu, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2016); the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010); a major traveling show which began at MUSAC – Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain in 2006 and traveled to the Kunstverein Hannover, Germany and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark in 2007.


Mehretu is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and her global representative is Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.


Mehretu is a trustee of the American Academy in Berlin.

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