Plans for buildings are metaphors 'for systems, for rational efforts to construct the world that we exist within, even though so many things happen in a very organic or irrational way.' These angular architectural spaces swarm with organic forms, with communities marching to war, confronting systems, and creating elaborate new civilizations. Human relationships unfold, interacting with the built and controlled world. Of Mehretu's interest in these warring factions, and in the 'aggressive and forceful nature of history,' Mehretu says that, 'most of my personal ancestry comes from different cultures that, at one time or another, were at war.' This is a comprehensive monograph on a strong new talent in contemporary painting.