The US Department of State has named Ethio-American artist Julie Mehretu, who is best known for her densely layered abstract paintings and prints, as a recipient of its 2015 Medal of Arts in recognition of her internationally acclaimed work and her impact in promoting cultural diplomacy.
Julie is one of seven artists who is receiving the recognition for her “outstanding commitment and contributions to the Art in Embassies program and international cultural exchange” a State Department spokeswoman said.
“The 2015 winners are Xu Bing, Mark Bradford, Sam Gilliam, Maya Lin, Julie Mehretu, Pedro Reyes, and Kehinde Wiley. The biennial award began in 2013 and that year went to Cai Guo-Qiang, Jeff Koons, Shahzia Sikander, Kiki Smith, and Carrie Mae Weems.”
◙ Find here Julie Mehretu’s Artsy Page
Julie, who lives and works in New York City, was the featured guest speaker at the 2014 American Artist Lecture Series in London this past September sponsored by the Art in Embassies program, Tate Modern and US Embassy London, which brings “the greatest living modern and contemporary American artists to the UK.”
Julie, who was also one of the Executive Producers of the film Difret, was born in Addis Ababa in 1970 and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1977. While best known for large-scale abstract paintings, Julie has experimented with prints since graduate school at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she was enrolled in the painting and printmaking program in the mid-1990s.
Her exploration of printmaking began with etching. She has completed collaborative projects at professional printmaking studios across the US, among them Highpoint Editions in Minneapolis, Crown Point Press in San Francisco, and Derrière L’Etoile Studios and Burnet Editions in New York City.
Julie’s works are held in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Although located in a private office building lobby, her 23′ x 80′ mural commissioned for the new Goldman Sachs tower in New York City (2010) is viewable from the sidewalk windows.
Julie is considered to be one of the leading contemporary artists in the United States, and has received numerous international recognition for her work including the American Art Award from the Whitney Museum of American Art and the prestigious MacArthur Fellow award.
Source: The Reporter