Mutu Wangechi

Collection in Focus: Wangechi Mutu and Juan Gris

Isabelle Dervaux, Acquavella Curator of Modern and Contemporary Drawings provides a glimpse into the collection by taking a closer look at two drawings by Juan Gris and Wangechi Mutu.

Mutu Wangechi
Untitled (Flower Series)
Watercolor and ink.
30 x 22 3/8 inches (76.2 x 56.8 cm)
Gift of the Modern & Contemporary Collectors Committee.
© Wangechi Mutu. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels
Curatorial Comments: 

Wangechi Mutu established her reputation in the early 2000s with large-scale, colorful works on paper combining painting and collage. At once voluptuous and frightening, her hybrid figures, part human, part animal, plant, and machine address issues of gender, race, and postcolonial politics. With its mix of references to African cultural traditions, high fashion, and science fiction Mutuʼs work has been related to the Afro-futurist aesthetic. This sheet belongs to a group of watercolors Mutu made following her return to Kenya after living for nearly twenty years in New York. While inspired by her country's luscious flora, the image also recalls Mutu's collages as parts of the plant evoke a female body, an egg, and a cowry shell--a potent symbol in African culture.

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