"Painting is liquid thinking." James Elkins

"Painting is liquid thinking." James Elkins

Friday, April 18, 2014

Julie Mehretu at the High Museum

Detail of Julie Mehretu's Mogamma (Part 2) painting at the High Museum of Art

Conversations with Contemporary Artists: Julie Mehretu
High Museum of Art

Julie will be speaking at the Alliance Theater on Monday, April 21 at 7 p.m. Mehretu is an internationally recognized artist who has been interrogating painting and its ability to respond the chaotic conditions of the contemporary world. 

In 2009 I wrote a paper while a PhD student at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in Visual Art about Mehretu and the contemporary sublime. I suggested that in her early paintings such as Stadia I and Stadia II she was posing a collision of spatial systems that mimed the clashes between social behavior represented by organic mark-making and the institutional represented by architectural drawings of structures of power. I argued that the friction between these two systems produced a third space of potentiality, where something new can emerge from the chaos.

The High Museum of Art acquired one of the paintings in a cycle called Mogamma (A Painting in Four Parts)  last spring. As a synopsis of the unpublished paper I wrote an essay for Burnaway.org that discusses these ideas in relation to the museum's acquisition of Part 2 in the cycle. The essay will be published on April 18.

Burnaway review of Mogamma (Part 2)