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Julie Mehretu's shatters African Art Auction record again!

Julie Mehretu's 'Walkers With the Dawn and Morning' is an undoubted masterpiece-and resulted in a new auction record for the artist when it sold for $10.7 million at Sothebys New York during the Now Evening Auction, presented in partnership with samsung us.


The work epitomizes Mehretu's practice as a whole; at once combining all aspects of her inimitable style of markmaking, including architectural drawing, brightly colored vectors, and calligraphic sweeps, the present work is perhaps the most literal visual manifestation of her theory of institutionalized racism though the vector of architecture.


Julie Mehretu in her Chelsea studio. | Josefina Santos
Julie Mehretu in her Chelsea studio | Josefina Santos

Walkers with the Dawn and Morning from 2008 is an expansive celebration of Black perseverance post-Hurricane Katrina, swirling with dense layers, choreographed linework, and hints of bright color in a deep, tonal sea. Named after the eponymous poem by Langston Hughes, Walkers with the Dawn and Morning was painted specifically for Prospect. 1, a New Orleans Biennial inaugurated to stimulate art world participation and cultivation in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Just as Hughes’ poem represents the journey of the Black community in America, moving forward despite countless obstacles in their path, Mehretu’s painting solidifies the sense of community and solidarity crucial to the Black population of New Orleans. Beyond displaying the artist’s most lauded aspects of her oeuvre– exquisitely meticulous architectural renderings powerfully juxtaposed against gestural mark-making, dynamic and nuanced compositional layering, and thoughtful exploration of urban social spaces– Walkers with the Dawn and Morning considers human resilience after unthinkable disaster.


Walkers With the Dawn and Morning is named after leading Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes
Walkers With the Dawn and Morning is named after leading Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes




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Julie Mehretu's shatters African Art Auction record again!

November 16, 2023

Art Report Africa

1 min read