The symmetrical white spaces of the White Cube in Mason’s Yard are almost religious in character and this is the first feeling you experience as you enter and experience the work ahead of you, centrally placed like an altarpiece. Move into the room, however, and see the detail and you immerse yourself in Julie Mehretu’s new exhibition SEXTANT. Through the swirl of paint, when you stand back and let yourself engage with the work, you see all sorts of images and silhouettes through the abstract layers of her work. You could stand in front of each and spend a long period of time looking into it – everyone’s interpretation will be different.
Julie Mehtru’s new work focusses on images from recent news events such as the independence rallies in Catalonia, the Grenfell Tower fire in London, bush fires in California and various protest rallies in the United States which she has manipulated, layered and transformed into abstract works in which the original event is hidden and embedded, waiting to be discovered by the viewer as Mehtru shows how art can respond to political circumstances.
An exhibition which to visit once for an initial overview and then a second time to immerse yourself in the paintings in this calm contemplative atmosphere.