Collection 1970s–Present


Unstable Ground



Julie Mehretu. Invisible Sun (algorithm 5, second letter form). 2014. Ink and acrylic on canvas, 9' 11 3/8" × 13' 11" (303.2 × 424.2 cm). Gift of the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation, Eugenio Lopez Alonso, and Committee on Painting and Sculpture Funds
  • MoMA, Floor 2, 215

How have artists responded to the realities of our increasingly interdependent world, in which a workers’ uprising on one continent can disrupt the economy on another? Local or regional shifts in borders, financial systems, and political ideologies have global implications.

Made in the last 10 years, the works in this gallery underscore this precarity. Visual order threatens to give way to its opposite. Abstract accumulations of brushstrokes, dense clusters of forms, and expanses of material hold together, yet look closely and you’ll notice how easily these systems might come undone. Though the artworks here reflect on geographically specific conditions and histories, they form a constellation that conveys the volatility reshaping established world orders. At the same time, they highlight the connections and communities engendered by shared struggles, suggesting how we might better stand collectively on unstable ground.

Organized by Lanka Tattersall, Laurenz Foundation Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints, and Paulina Pobocha, Associate Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, with Gee Wesley, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance.

8 works online


Installation images

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