Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined

Lizard Love by Wangechi Mutu
25″x21.5″; mixed media, ink, spray paint, and collage on Mylar; 2006. Courtesy of the artist, Gladstone Gallery, and Victoria Miro Gallery.


Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined

at the New Orleans Museum of Art in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
31 January-14 July 2024

“Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined” traces connections between recent developments in Mutu’s sculptures and her decades-long exploration of the legacies of colonialism, globalization, and African and diasporic cultural traditions. The exhibition travels to NOMA from the New Museum, New York.

The most complete survey of Mutu’s work to date, Intertwined is a rare opportunity to see the range and depth of the artist’s practice across her influential career and to trace the thematic throughlines and progressions in her work. Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined draws connections between the artist’s works on paper and her sculptures, featuring some of Mutu’s earliest collages, small-scale sculptures, as well as new and recent works—some made of natural materials sourced in Nairobi such as wood and soil and others cast in bronze. Included in the exhibition will be her videos The End of carrying All—seen at the Venice Biennale in 2015—My Cave Call, Cutting, and Amazing Grace; recent examples of experimental collages, including the “Subterranea” series (2021–22); and large-scale sculptures including In Two Canoe, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Glider, Sleeping Serpent, Seeing Cowries, the “Fertility Heal” series, and her early “Bottle People” series.

Maria by Wangechi Mutu
10.75″x4.5″x4″; plastic, string, paint, shells, and found object; 1997. Courtesy of the artist.

Mutu first gained acclaim in the late 1990s for her collage-based work exploring camouflage and transformation. She extends these strategies to her work across various media, developing hybrid, fantastical forms that fuse mythical and folkloric narratives with layered social and historical references. Informed in part by her undergraduate training in anthropology and by her experience living and working in New York and Nairobi, Mutu consistently challenges the ways in which cultures and histories have traditionally been classified.

“Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined” is organized by Vivian Crockett (Curator, New Museum) and Margot Norton (Chief Curator, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and former Allen and Lola Goldring Senior Curator, New Museum) with Ian Wallace (Curatorial Assistant, New Museum).

(text adapted from material provided by the museum)


New Orleans Museum of Art
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