The 100 Most Influential People of 2020
Heather Sten
By David Adjaye
September 22, 2020 9:34 PM EDT

Julie Mehretu’s work—painting abstract three-dimensional landscapes that represent our often chaotic socio-political climate—is profoundly meaningful in the way that it frames stories and places. She creates her own language that serves as a portal to a place where expressionism collapses time, only to reveal our relationship to space.

At the 2019 Venice Biennale’s 58th International exhibition, “May You Live in Interesting Times,” Julie referenced maps, architectural diagrams and grids—scientific methodologies specific to architectural systems—and rendered them in a way fully unique to her. Her art holds qualities of memory, history, global mobilities, inequities and sense of place, but through a universal lens.

As an admirer and an architect, I’m both interested and encapsulated by Julie’s ability to let us see reality as it is, rather than how we experience it through our own senses.

Adjaye is an architect

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