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Julie Mehretu at LACMA

December 10, 2019 • 8:00 am - December 17, 2019 PST

On view: November 16, 2019–January 11, 2020

A mid-career survey of Julie Mehretu at LACMA presents a timely look at the artist’s past 20 years and the progression into her unique personal style. For Mehretu, line is everything, whether structured and plotted out to demarcate architectural space, or a more intuitive line that bears emotional weight and idiosyncratic style. It is the mixing of the two (like a shift between left brain/right brain) that makes the work really sing. Much of the architectural line work points to various sites of political or social upheaval: the War on Terror, ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, the Syrian refugee crisis, Arab Spring, etc. Real architectural features that mark these events and places are intermixed with fantasy landscapes, and then overlaid with Mehretu’s emotive organic marks to create a fluster of activity, as if to represent the human element amidst global catastrophe.