Standing at an impressive 1,728 square foot piece spread across a pair of 27 by 32 foot canvasses that individually weigh some 300 pounds. This piece by Julie Mehretu will be the largest piece of art the museum has ever installed.
The piece, titled Howl, eon (I,II), comes by way of Ethiopia-born artist Julie Mehretu. So what’s the the massive masterpiece all about? According to the museum:
The competing impulses of annihilation and preservation at the heart of 19th century westward expansion, and explores how the Bay Area’s history of colonialism, capitalism, class conflict, social protest, and technological innovation have transformed the social and physical landscape.
Julie Mehretu’s Howl, eon (I, II), is an expansive exploration of the American West — its transcendent landscapes and violent colonial history. Created as part of SFMOMA’s new art commissioning program, this site-specific diptych’s two vast abstract canvases flank the main staircase in the soaring Haas, Jr. Atrium, which is freely accessible to the public. Which means, you don't have to pay to get an up-close view of the artwork. And in case you're wondering how long it took to complete, it was a year of work for the artist.
But with the amount of work and time spent, we know it's going to be a highlight for the museum's daily foot traffic. Check out this cool time lapse video from the SF Chronicle as they record Mehretu's process in action.
// Julie Mehretu's Howl, eon (I, II) will go up live September 2 at the Third St., entrance of SFMOMA; 151 3rd St, SoMa, sfmoma.org
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