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23 April, 7 pm, Thursday
Remis Auditorium / Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
In Conversation: Julie Mehretu, 2020 SMFA Medal Artist, and Renée Green

Join us in celebrating painter Julie Mehretu as the 2020 SMFA at Tufts Medal recipient with a public conversation with artist Renée Green.

Established in 1996 on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the SMFA at Tufts Medal has been awarded to noteworthy and influential luminaries of the art world who demonstrate creative excellence and enduring commitment to the arts. Recent recipients include Lorna Simpson (2018), James Turrell (2017), Mona Hatoum (2015), John Baldessari (2014), and Sarah Sze (2013).

For the 2020 SMFA at Tufts Medal, we are thrilled to honor Julie Mehretu, a globally recognized artist-activist whose important mid-career survey opened in 2019 at Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, California and will travel to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York in 2020. In exploring palimpsests of history, from geological time to a modern day phenomenology of the social, Mehretu's works engage us in a dynamic visual articulation of contemporary experience, a depiction of social behavior and the psychogeography of space. Culled from archival sources-from ancient city plans, civic buildings, urban designs, public squares, tombs, palaces, ruins, etc-her paintings combine meticulous graphic drawing with spontaneous gesture. Mehretu begins with the premise of architecture as a medium of social history and power and proceeds to imagine a new present, a fictional topography realized through a formal vocabulary of line, color, gesture, markings, grids, characters, swarms, blurs, washes, which are overlaid and stratified on the surface of the canvas. Mehretu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1970 and lives and works in New York City. Mehretu’s many awards include The MacArthur Award (2005), the Berlin Prize: Guna S. Mundheim Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany (2007), and the US Department of State Medal of Arts Award (2015).

Renée Green is an artist, writer, and filmmaker known for her highly layered and formally complex multimedia installations in which ideas, perception, and experience are examined from myriad perspectives. Via films, essays and writings, installations, digital media, architecture, sound-related works, film series and events her work engages with investigations into circuits of relation and exchange over time, the gaps and shifts in what survives in public and private memories as well as what has been imagined and invented. Green's exhibitions, videos and films have been seen throughout the world in museums and art institutions, among them the MAK Center for Art + Architecture at the Schindler House, West Hollywood; the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the New Museum, all in New York; and most recently at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University. Green is Professor at the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, School of Architecture & Planning.