SEGMENT: Julie Mehretu in "Systems"

Now Playing: SEGMENT: Julie Mehretu in "Systems"

About this video

“Trying to figure out who I am and my work is trying to understand systems,” says Julie Mehretu, shown working with her assistants in Berlin on seven large canvases for a show at Deutsche Guggenheim. “The thing that keeps me going is the painting,” she says, “and in getting lost in doing that a language is invented.” Mehretu’s abstract compositions reference modernist architecture, Google Maps, Coliseum-like buildings, and defaced structures. Mehretu is also shown working on the biggest project of her young career: a 21 by 85 foot long mural commissioned by a major financial institution in Lower Manhattan, to be completed during the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression. Characterizing the task before her as “absurd,” she wonders “can you actually make a picture…of the history of capitalist development?”

Featured in this video

Additional Videos

Season Episode number Episode name Artists Duration Release datesort icon
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 1 Compassion
Carrie Mae Weems, Doris Salcedo, William Kentridge
0:00 10/07/2009
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 1 Compassion William Kentridge 0:00 10/07/2009
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 1 Compassion Carrie Mae Weems 0:00 10/07/2009
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 1 Compassion Doris Salcedo 0:00 10/07/2009
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 2 Fantasy
Cao Fei, Florian Maier-Aichen, Jeff Koons, Mary Heilmann
0:00 10/14/2009
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 2 Fantasy Jeff Koons 0:00 10/14/2009
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 2 Fantasy Mary Heilmann 0:00 10/14/2009
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 2 Fantasy Florian Maier-Aichen 0:00 10/14/2009
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 2 Fantasy Cao Fei 0:00 10/14/2009
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 3 Transformation
Cindy Sherman, Paul McCarthy, Yinka Shonibare MBE
0:00 10/21/2009