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Local Calm

2005 Julie Mehretu Born: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1970 Dena Scheckit (Printer) Crown Point Press (Publisher) sugar lift aquatint with color aquatint and spit bite aquatint, soft and hard ground etching, and engraving on Gampi paper chine collé image: 27 7/8 x 39 7/8 in. (70.7 x 101.3 cm) sheet: 36 x 47 1/8 in. (91.3 x 119.6 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Lichtenberg Family Foundation © 2005, Julie Mehretu 2006.23 Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

Local Calm is one of three etching that Julie Mehretu called collectively, Heavy Weather. She began working on these prints two weeks after hurricane Katrina had devastated New Orleans as the area was bracing for another storm, already named Rita. To express the wind currents and chaotic movement of the storm, she called upon her experience crossing the Drake Passage the previous year. This stretch of ocean between Cape Horn and Antarctica, where the Atlantic and Pacific meet, has some of the worst sea weather in the world. As her boat plunged and pitched, she focused her attention on a soaring albatross that was following the ship, gliding and catching air currents, majestically indifferent to the turmoil below. She imagined herself to be the albatross, caught in the maelstrom but able to carry on as nature intended. She captures the interaction of sea and air with lines, marks, and suggestions of forms.

Multiplicity, 2011



graphic arts - print