Acclaimed artist Julie Mehretu calls to end mass incarceration; donates painting to benefit Art for Justice Fund
New York, New York – Artist Julie Mehretu has donated her new painting, “Dissident Score,” 2019-2021 to the Art for Justice Fund. Mehretu’s generous gift cements a new partnership with the fund, dedicated to ending mass incarceration and the racial bias that fuels it.
The United States carceral system is birthed from chattel slavery and continues to harm a disproportionate number of Black, Brown, and poor families. Black people are disproportionately impacted by every part of our legal system, from uneven monitoring of their communities to receiving exaggerated sentences. In this moment, artists and policy advocates working together are radically reimagining a new way forward.
“Mass incarceration, solitary confinement, youth imprisonment, and putting kids in prison for life without parole are sins of our society, slavery in another form. It is way past time for a collective reimagining of crime and punishment as we know it. Art for Justice has been unwavering in its commitment to support the enormous efforts to end mass incarceration and achieve abolition since its founding by Agnes Gund. I hope to contribute to these efforts and the fund with the full proceeds from the sale of my painting, “Dissident Score,” 2019-2021,” said Julie Mehretu. “I want to acknowledge the other artists and my colleagues in this collective effort who have also made significant contributions to the Art for Justice Fund: Mark Bradford, Nick Cave, Paula Crown, Stanley Whitney, Mark di Suvero, Jeff Koons, Titus Kaphar, and Dwayne Betts.”
“Julie Mehretu has dedicated her life’s work to boldly exploring social, cultural, and political issues. She encourages us to radically imagine communities where safety is shared and justice is true,” said Agnes Gund, Art for Justice founder. “Her tremendous generosity will help our growing community of artists and advocates accelerate the work to end mass incarceration.”
The painting will be on auction through June 10 on Artsy, the leading online marketplace for discovering, buying, and selling fine art. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of the painting will go directly to artists, policy advocates, and organizations working to end mass incarceration. This effort is made possible by the Marian Goodman Gallery, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and the Ford Foundation.
“Artsy is proud to be auctioning Julie Mehretu’s artwork to raise funds and awareness for Art for Justice,” said Mike Steib, CEO of Artsy. “Through this collaboration, we continue our pursuit of a more inclusive art world and a more just society.”
Those who have interest in registering to bid and acquiring “Dissident Score,” 2019-2021, please visit the Artsy auction site.
About Art for Justice Fund
Art for Justice Fund is a six-year initiative created by Agnes Gund to end mass incarceration in the United States and the racism that drives it. This initiative, which concludes in 2023, has already disbursed $92 million to 200+ artists, advocates, and organizations. It is focused on creating new visions for shared safety.
About Julie Mehretu
Julie Mehretu is an American contemporary visual artist, known for her multi-layered abstract paintings on a large scale. Distinguished as one of today’s most exceptional and critical visual artists, Mehretu’s extensive practice is charged with political inquiry and exploration of key issues like migration and globalization. The impulse to make her work is often driven by her observations and questioning of national and international socio-political challenges, upheaval, and injustice. Mehretu was included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020, she has received numerous accolades and honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2005, the U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts Award in 2015 and recent election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2021. A retrospective of her work is currently on view at The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and will travel to the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis in Fall of 2021.
“Dissident Score,” 2019-2021
Ink and acrylic on canvas
108 x 120 in. (274.3 x 304.8 cm)
Images courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery,
© Julie Mehertu
Photography: Tom Powel Imaging
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