Acclaimed artist Julie Mehretu joins Shahzia Sikander to discuss Shahzia Sikander: Extraordinary Realities, an investigation into the first fifteen years of Sikander's career, and Julie Mehretu, a mid-career survey on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art. This conversation is moderated by Gayatri Gopinath, Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, and Director, Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, New York University.
For more than two decades, Julie Mehretu (b. 1970, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) has been engaged in a deep exploration of painting. She creates new forms and finds unexpected resonances by drawing from the histories of art and human civilization—from Babylonian stelae to architectural sketches, from European history painting to the sites and symbols of African liberation movements. Pakistani American artist Shahzia Sikander (b. 1969) is internationally celebrated for bringing Indo-Persian manuscript painting traditions into dialogue with contemporary art practice. Sikander has richly interrogated gender, sexuality, race, class, and history, creating open-ended narratives that have sustained her work as one of the most significant artists working today.