3/10/2006

Julie Mehretu

48 comments:

new leaf said...

ok.
my new thing is to be nice, or at least judicious, regarding these artists. Maybe I don't like the work, but there are good things to say about everthing right? I am also going to avoid any personal references especially if based on gossip, rumour, hearsay, the market, etc...
So...
I do not like her work in general. It is too formal for my tastes: meaning her abstract shapes are not referential enough or symbolic enough of interesting worldly things to really make me ruminate. Perhaps the importance of this work is in the making of it, but it is very graphic and therefore not really about spontaneous 'markmaking' but morso about a 'reference' to previous spontaneous markmakers before her, and that is not of interest to me personally.
On the other hand...
She makes a really attractive surface with her multi-layering resin technique. And her color with heavy blacks, greys, whites and off-whites is interesting. And she gets a nice compositional swirl going in most of her paintings that also references deep space.
But...
I much prefer an artist like Kristin Baker. They're warmer and richer and the pictures echo their original subjects more powerfully.

Anonymous said...

Oh Kristin Baker is great.
I think for the sake of this blog we should all turn a new leaf. Brad Kahlhamer and Zak Smith post really took us into the gutter.

I don't have much to say about Julie's work.

Anonymous said...

i think she is good, but has it merited the attention it gets, it gets formulaic altho it is attractive and dense, it will be interesting to see if she just repeats herself now, or takes it to another level and moves beyond the fprmula.

not bitterly said...

she's pretty much been repeating herself since 1999.

other said...

there is a delicacy about her work which carries some appeal,some areas of nice drawing-nothing that hasn't been done in many etchings of yore,but at least this isn't trendy-am put off by her hype-

Anonymous said...

I dont get all the fuss about her work.....I find very dry and repeditive.... I perfer Torben Giehler or Ben Edwards.

Anonymous said...

I dont get all the fuss about her work.....I find very dry and repeditive.... I perfer Torben Giehler or Ben Edwards.

Anonymous said...

Oh can we have a Torben Giehler post?

JD said...

I like these, especially some of the drawings. Did anyone see that drawing show last spring, I think, at the gallery on 57th st.? The space in this work is great: it's like being in a mathematical place, not just formal-feeling to me. "Mapping" is one of those irritating grad school words, yet I think it applies here for real. You feel like you're being shown "the lay of the land" of a philosophical space or something.

kunsthomo said...

His new painting at Leo Koenig Inc.'s booth is awesome!!

Anonymous said...

Painter I just found this fake stock on your blog.
It is to bad you are not making any money on this, you could have made a lot if not on blogger.

http://blogshares.com/blogs.php?blog=http%3A%2F%2Fpainternyc.blogspot.com%2F

Anonymous said...

I thought Zak Smith led some of us to a higher discussion, lets keep it on the high road. it is much more interesting.

Qloo said...

Yes thanks to all those who posted previously, except those who insulted my age and education, (Zak Smith blog) I kept wanting to write "ditto" but left your comments to the blog, now onward.

Anonymous said...

belongs in the museum of modern product

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting blog if you follow it. Almost always starts out negative, turns argumenetive and ends up likeing something about the painter by the end of the day. If the painter actually show up all berts are off

Zak Smith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
passeo said...

Sorry zak, even your presence won't save the so-so response to mehretu's work. They're balanced, accomplished, visually likable and somehow (can't put my finger on it), to a fault. I wish I could put my finger on it, then perhaps I'd have more to say.

Zak Smith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
passeo said...

...Controlled... maybe thats the word im looking for... too controlled... like in a comic booky kind of way... hmmm!

passeo said...

...which is not to say control is a bad thing. Tons of artists show a beautiful sense of control in different ways... celmins, kawara, ryman... crewdson, wall.... kirby. ...or is that restraint? ...hmmm...

Zak Smith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Professor Mouth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
passeo said...

... Then perhaps the word is 'directorial'... as in the published product is more important than the process. Like undos or edits, erasures. All in service of the final image. Hmmm....

Zak Smith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
passeo said...

That's it, maybe.... I forgive draftsmen, photographers, bloggers, etc, in the way that 'process' is edited or even erased, or embellished.

But not painters. Not paintings. I want to see the evidence of every step. Velasquez shows his evidence, and that is the sheer beauty in his painting -- and in painting.

Mehretu is a master draftsperson and designer, no doubt. And it translates nicely to her paintings, for sure. But theres always something I miss.... Perhaps it's painting! Goofups, lack of planning or even issues in confidence, improvisations, etc... Gooie Painting! I know that these human elements and foibles exist in her pieces, but they don't seem to show enough, not for me at least. They are Directorial -- as in art-directed. Storyboarded. Finished. And for me this points to the centuries-old distinction of drawing vs painting. Drawing is precise and planned in excecution -- painting, laissez-faire by comparison (painting, having to deal with goo and all that -- and the fact that goo never really goes away, no matter how much turpentine you have -- hence the charm.) -- drawing so confident in itself that in Mouth's example, even shit looks clean when drawn. Which is why it lend itself so easily to the applied arts.

Of course I'm all into master-draftspeople like Ingres and Degas -- and I see Mehretu as a master in her own right --- but more like Bougereau, who's indeed a master to me, but a lesser one. Maybe it's his confidence thing... Bougereau had confidence to a fault ... dunno. Maybe I'm simply jealous.

Maybe all Mehretu needs to do leave a little tape on her pieces, as evidnece that she's been there. Maybe I'm full of shit, and really am jealous. Dunno... Process does indeed create truth.

Anonymous said...

i agree with passeo--i like to see paint move like an organism.

as for whoever's pretending to be zak--if you want to fuck with him, why don't you just do it in private? his e-mail's real easy to find.

Zak Smith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
passeo said...

yeah, stop it.

passeo said...

yeah, stop it.

Anonymous said...

whoever's pretending to be zak--if you want to fuck with him, why don't you just do it in private? his e-mail's real easy to find.

passeo said...

The poser's probably the same guy who thinks I'm a bore. He's not after zac, but has some qualm with passeo.

Anonymous said...

another thing about the "fait accompli" look of Julie M's paintings is it seems to limit the kind of energy the painting can suggest. they all sort of seem to come from exactly the same impulse no matter what the specifics.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys lighten up. Passeo I don't think you are a bore at all. I like what you write very much. I also love that you mentioned Bougereau.

Anonymous said...

Here's a thing that bugs me--some of her paintings--like this one--have things that could ALMOST be shadows. But the overlapping in the rest of the space flattens the illusion so much that it doesn't give her the opportunity to see what that hint of illusionism might turn into.

Anonymous said...

I don't know passeo and anon. After reading Smith's mega blog a couple of days ago I find this Bizarro Zak Smith stuff to be pretty f-ing hilarious.

Anonymous said...

re: last anonymous comment about JM and her "shadows"

Isn't the flat/not-flat trope a tried-and-true modernist device?

Anonymous said...

"Tried-and-true" as in "Hey it always works" or "tried-and-true" as in "that shit is old and tired and what makes her think she's doing something new?"

Anonymous said...

In the sense of "what's so bad about suggesting 3-D space/not suggesting 3-D space"

Anonymous said...

Paul Klee could do it. Julie Mehretu just looks like she stuck a bunch of po-mo colorforms on a canvas.

Anonymous said...

Interesting--whike they're MADE of colorforms, they work on the viewer like CHLOROFORM.

Seriously, has anyone NOT hired to decorate a massive ranch-house in San Diego EVER considered buying one of these paintings?

They suck. One million times.

zipthwung said...

could I get a zak smith digest? I'm totally behind in my reading.

Julie, you sly dog you. your layered iron ons rock, but tracing makes me shiver witht he cold chill of predestination - see the first poster.

I can lay up a complex "drawing" in illustrator ( a vector graphics drawing program - pirated of course) and use an overhead projector and then trace it. Is this what you do?

I saw a drawing at PS1 where someone had traced a polygon mesh. It was impressive. They must smoke pot. Otherwise its a joyless puritanical mind fuck all.

Somehow I never get caught in a reverie. Maybe if I owned one I could sit in the jet setting chair and see the light.

Qloo said...

As for what Passeo and some others were saying about evidence of the maker in the history of the painted surface-I, too think about this in looking at paintings and making paintings. The thing is, It can be difficult to leave that evidence, I end up covering up. I tend to end up with layers of ten or so painted versions underneath, until I arrive at a painting, and the evidence is in texture, not necessarily in image. This texture then either interferes with the image or becomes something of interest. So then, the question for me at times has become, how do I leave that evidence, and in the end it tends to be less natural for me to do that. But these are questions that I am always thinking about- rugged lines, straight lines (or taped) things which look rehearsed or predetermined, things which flow-or appear to have a more human idiosycratic aspect.

Qloo said...

passeo, I'm checking out some of those references. In thinking more about this, I am fascinated by "imitated" human lines like in Lichtenstein's work, he'll draw the image of the gooey mark. Maybe It's a question of control and letting go of control, allowing things to happen. Mehrutu seem to have found precise things to then place around, so her freedom is in the placement of controlled little forms. Reminds me of Miro's Constellation series among other things.

passeo said...

Qloo, I see what you mean with Miro. Pyrotechnic in thier design-execution. And to be fair, I didn't want to insinuate that her paintings leave NO evidence, because that would go too far -- can see the layering and gestural marks, for sure -- perhaps I still can't put my finger on it... I like zip's phrase "chill of predestination" it's somehow poetic.

Anonymous said...

lots of red dots at the armory

Anonymous said...

passeo that was very well put. thanks for the good crit

Anonymous said...

Julie is astonishingly overrated. First she cribbed her whole "schtick" from Ben Edwards and then rolls into town and with the support of Jerry Saltz and Shazia Sikkander lands herseslf in Christian Haye's then new gallery The Projecct. The rest, as they say is history.

So now after every imaginable grant, topped off by the MacArthur, a traveling museum show, and her big Biennial painting transfered to MOMA for its reopening, we the astonished audience are left with the question: Is this any good?

It's O.K., it's not half as good as Thelma Golden tells us it is. They have a "nice decorative quality" like Saltz wrote.

Does anyone remember Larry Poons?

Adi said...

Oes Tsetnoc one of the ways in which we can learn seo besides Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa. By participating in the Oes Tsetnoc or Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa we can improve our seo skills. To find more information about Oest Tsetnoc please visit my Oes Tsetnoc pages. And to find more information about Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa please visit my Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa pages. Thank you So much.
Oes Tsetnoc | Semangat Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa