Pat Steir and Julie Mehretu at The RISD Museum

Pat Steir
February Series II, 1991
© Pat Steir
Courtesy of the artist

Pat Steir and Julie Mehretu at The RISD Museum

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) March 11, 6:30pm

Michael P. Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center
Advance tickets available by calling 401 709-8402

On March 11, Susan Harris moderates a conversation with Pat Steir and Julie Mehretu at the RISD Museum; both artists will discuss the central role of drawing in their work, with a focus on issues specific to women artists of their respective generations. The discussion is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Pat Steir: Drawing Out of Line, on view February 16 through July 3.A major figure in American art since the 1970s, Pat Steir has created some of the most ambitious and challenging drawings of the late 20th century. Organized by RISD curator Jan Howard and independent curator Susan Harris, the exhibition examines 40 years of Steir’s work, focusing on her exploration of the vocabulary of drawing. Presented in 6,000 square feet, Drawing Out of Line features Steir’s drawings on paper—which vary dramatically in scale—in relationship to her paintings and prints, and includes a re-creation of her large wall drawing Self-Portrait: An Installation (first created for the New Museum [NY] in 1987), which she is producing on site with the assistance of 12 RISD students. Other works in the show include her minimal and intimate word/image drawings (1971–74); richly delineated serial investigations of line (1975–76); heroically scaled wave drawings (1983–86); four interrelated series of stunning waterfall drawings (1991); and a new series featuring broad, dark gestural marks that sometimes serve as a backdrop for delicate pastel grids (2007–08).

Julie Mehretu (Ethiopian American, b. 1970) is known for layering her own complex personal language of marks and symbols with references to maps and architectural imagery to create elaborate, semi-abstract drawings, prints, and paintings that explore spatial depth and challenge narrow cultural readings. Mehretu earned an MFA from RISD in 1997. Her awards include the Berlin Prize (2007), from the American Academy in Berlin; a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award (2005); and the American Art Award from the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY (2005). Her work has appeared in major exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, NY (2007); Detroit Institute of Arts (2006); and the Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis (2003), among others. She has also participated in the Sydney Biennale (2006); Carnegie International (2004); Bienal de São Paulo (2004); Whitney Biennial (2004); and the Istanbul Biennial (2003).

Support for Drawing Out of Line has been provided by The National Endowment for the Arts, Providence Tourism Council, Paula and Leonard Granoff, Locks Family Foundation, Judy and Robert Mann, John Cheim (RISD BFA 1977), Howard Read (RISD BFA 1976), and an anonymous donor.

Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design

224 Benefit Street
Providence, RI 02903
401 454-6500
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