A collection of grids, lines, marks and shapes swirl around the picture surface in Mogamma: Part 3. The marks have been drawn or painted in ink and acrylic paint on canvas. There is no central point to the painting, but we can make out various architectural forms between the torrents of marks. The sweeping clusters of lines and shapes push and pull our view across the picture plane. Standing in front of this huge painting is like experiencing the force of a hurricane. Morgamma: Part 3 is part of a series of four paintings made by artist Julie Mehretu. They were first exhibited at Documenta art fair in 2012. The painting is titled after Mogamma, an Egyptian government building in Tahrir Square in Cairo, which was both a symbol of bureaucracy and centrally located during protests in 2011. Tracings of Mogamma and other historic sites such as Meskel Square in Addis Ababa and Zuccottu Park in New York have been depicted in the series of paintings. The buildings have been overdrawn with instinctive mark making and obscured in such a way that they have lost their symbolic power. The result is that sites of bureaucratic power and communal resistance have both been reduced to two dimensions and swept up in a chaotic frenzy of expression. Perhaps this painting represents a new order emerging?
The work is part of the Tate Collection.
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