Julie Mehretu Undertakes her Largest Project Yet for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

by Flaunt Editorial Staff

When we interviewed Julie Mehretu in January 2016 and did a cover for Flaunt’s [Ctrl-C]+[Ctril-V] issue, we knew by her deep understanding of herself, her art, and the art world at large that her career would only grow in the future. Her meticulous drawings display an uncanny understanding of architecture and urban planning and bring into question the impact of globalism. Her abstract style does not deter viewers; instead, it asks them to reflect on often overlooked topics regarding geography, politics, and the individual experience within the hectic landscape of a city.

Now, Mehretu has been commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to create two large scale paintings to bookend the staircase in the museum’s newly expanded building. The paintings are so large—27 by 32 feet—that Mehretu has had to convert an unused Harlem church into her studio. Inside, she has been working on the two paintings on opposite walls.

The exterior of SFMOMA

The exterior of SFMOMA

Not only is Mehretu the top-selling living female artist, but with this commission she may also be the first female artist to work in a public space on such a large scale. If there was any question about Mehretu's legacy before, she will certainly become a household name after these go on display.

The paintings will be on long-term view beginning September 2.