Epigraph, Damascus


Julie Mehretu ( American, born Ethiopia, 1970 )

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General Description

Epigraph, Damascus by Julie Mehretu is a monumental six-part print that showcases her mastery of the medium, incorporating a variety of techniques. Architectural draw­ings of buildings located in Damascus, the capital of Syria, underlie the composition. Gestural marks, both etched into plates and painted on Mylar, are densely layered during the printing process, fragmenting the precise linework underneath and partially obscuring the architectural elements contained within. While Mehretu’s choice of subject matter is often metaphoric rather than specific—what she describes as “story maps of no location”—the work’s title and its disorienting alteration of real places evoke the destruction of the eponymous city in the face of a brutal years-long civil war.

Excerpt from

  • Anna Katherine Brodbeck, ed., TWO X TWO X TWENTY: Two Decades Supporting Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art), 2018, 268-269.