In celebration of the forthcoming fifth season of Art:21-Art in the Twenty-First Century, broadcasting this October on PBS, each week we bring you a video clip from a featured artist’s segment. The final artist we are profiling in this series is Julie Mehretu. Read a detailed explanation of Mehretu’s work back on Art21′s blog here, and check out Lawrence Chua’s 2005 BOMB interview with her here.
Julie Mehretu’s paintings and drawings reference elements of mapping and architecture to achieve an abstract, calligraphic complexity that resembles turbulent atmospheres and dense social networks. “What I’m most interested in is how I push the work, allow it to have conceptual meaning and allow it to be free enough that it reveals itself to me,” she explains.
This video is excerpted from the Season 5 episode Systems, premiering on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 at 10pm (ET) on PBS (check local listings). Systems features four artists—Mehretu, John Baldessari, Kimsooja, and Allan McCollum—who invent new grammars and logics, finding comfort in some systems while rebelling against others in today’s supercharged, information-based society.