Period & Style
Exclusive Episode #101: Filmed in Lower Manhattan, painting conservator Luca Bonetti leads the installation of artist Julie Mehretu’s massive painting Mural (2009) at Goldman Sachs, coordinating a team of installers and studio assistants over a period of several weeks. Julie Mehretu's paintings and drawings refer to elements of mapping and architecture, achieving a calligraphic complexity that resembles turbulent atmospheres and dense social networks. Architectural renderings and aerial views of urban grids enter the work as fragments, losing their real-world specificity and challenging narrow geographic and cultural readings. The paintings' wax-like surfaces—built up over weeks and months in thin translucent layers—have a luminous warmth and spatial depth, with formal qualities of light and space made all the more complex by Mehretu's delicate depictions of fire, explosions, and perspectives in both two and three dimensions. Her works engage the history of nonobjective art—from Constructivism to Futurism—posing contemporary questions about the relationship between utopian impulses and abstraction. Learn more about Julie Mehretu at: http://www.art21.org/artists/julie-mehretu VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Nick Ravich. Camera & Sound: Nick Ravich. Editor: Mary Ann Toman. Thanks: Luca Bonetti; Travis Fitzgerald; Goldman, Sachs, & Co.; and Harmony Murphy.