Julie Mehretu (born 1970 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) is an artist, best known for her densely layered abstract paintings and prints. She lives and works in New York City. Mehretu shares her New York studio with her partner, the artist Jessica Rankin.
Mehretu is known for her large-scale paintings and drawings and her technique of layering different elements and media. Her paintings are built up through layers of acrylic paint on canvas overlaid with mark-making using pencil, pen, ink and thick streams of paint. Her canvases overlay different architectural features such as columns, façades and porticoes with different geographical schema such as charts, building plans and city maps and architectural renderings for stadiums, international airports, and other public gathering hubs, seen from different perspectives, at once aerial, cross-section and isometric. Her drawings are preparatory to her large paintings, and sometimes interim between paintings.