Columbia University in the City of New York

Alan Kanzer Artist-in-Residence

Above: artist Julie Mehretu (Credit: Josefina Santos).

Fostering creative pursuit in neuroscience and the arts

A collaboration between Columbia's Zuckerman Institute and School of the Arts, the Alan Kanzer Artist-in-Residence program enables visual artists opportunities to collaborate both formally and informally with scientists studying the brain, the senses, perception, learning and memory, and promotes engagement across the Institute and the surrounding community.

The 2020 Alan Kanzer Artist-in-Reisdence is painter Julie Mehretu. In her role, Mehretu will engage with artists and scientists in interdisciplinary pursuit to gain a deeper understanding of the mind and brain. She will work with a faculty host to define and achieve concrete outcomes, such as works of art that benefit her creative pursuit, Institute scientists and the community-at-large. By the end of the residency, Mehretu, the scientists and members of the wider community will benefit from access to new knowledge and perspectives from these cross-disciplinary activities.


About Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu is a world-renowned painter, born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1970 who lives and works in New York City and Berlin. She received a Master’s of Fine Art with honors from The Rhode Island School of Design in 1997. Mehretu is a recipient of many awards, including the The MacArthur Award (2005) and the US Department of State Medal of Arts Award (2015). She has shown her work extensively in international and national solo and group exhibitions and is represented in public and private collections around the world. Recent projects include completing two large-scale paintings for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Atrium in September 2017, entitled HOWL eon (I, II). Recent exhibitions include Venice Biennale (2019) and a mid-career survey at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which travels to The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (2020), High Museum in Atlanta (2020), and The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (2021). She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and is represented by Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.


Julie Mehretu's residency is hosted by Charles Zuker, PhD, professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics and of neuroscience, principal investigator at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. If you would like to meet with the artist during her residency, please contact [email protected].

This program is made possible with the generous support of Alan Kanzer. Columbia University’s School of the Arts and Zuckerman Institute are grateful to Mr. Kanzer for his generosity and commitment to fostering interactions between the arts and neuroscience. The 2019 Alan Kanzer Artist-in-Residence was contemporary artist and sculpter Sarah Sze.

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