About Julie Mehretu
Julie Mehretu (b. 1970, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) lives and works in New York. She received a Bachelor of Art from Kalamazoo College, Michigan, studied at the University Cheik Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal, and received a Master of Fine Art with honors from The Rhode Island School of Design in 1997. She has since received many prestigious awards including the MacArthur Fellowship in 2005, the U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts Award in 2015, and the Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership, New York in 2018. In 2017, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Letters.
From 2019 to 2022, Mehretu's mid-career retrospective was presented by the LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, which co-organized it, and also traveling to the Walker Museum of Art, Minneapolis, and to the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Julie Mehretu's work has been exhibited extensively in international museums and biennials including at the Carnegie International (2004-05); Sydney Biennial (2006); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010); dOCUMENTA (13) (2012); Sharjah Biennial (2015); Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2017); Fundación Botín, Santander, Spain (2018); Kettle's Yard, University of Cambridge, UK (2019); and the 58th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia (2019).
About Robin Coste Lewis
Robin Coste Lewis (b. 1964, Compton, California) is the outgoing poet laureate for the city of Los Angeles where she now lives and works. In 2015, her debut poetry collection Voyage of the Sable Venus, which examined the fraught history of art, gender, and race, won the National Book Award in poetry — the first time a poetry debut by an African American had ever won the prize in the National Book Foundation's history, and the first time any debut had won the award since 1974. Coste Lewis is at work on a new collection, To the Realization of Perfect Helplessness (Knopf, 2022), and teaches in NYU’s low-residency MFA program in Paris and is writer-in-residence at the University of Southern California. Currently, she is the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome.
Coste Lewis received her Bachelor of Art from Hampshire College in creative writing and comparative literature; a Master of Theological Studies degree in Sanskrit and comparative religious literature from the Divinity School at Harvard University; a Master of Fine Art in poetry at New York University; and a PhD from the University of Southern California Creative Writing and Literature Program.