Wangechi Mutu was born in 1972 in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. Training as an artist and anthropologist, her paintings and collages investigate the nature of modern cultural identity, notably in the personal context of East African traditions. Thanks to her memorable style and expert handling of delicate subjects, she has exhibited across Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States. Currently she lives and works in New York and in 2010 she was named the first Deutsche Bank ‘Artist of the Year’.
Wangechi Mutu’s influences
Mutu’s art explores her African heritage as well as her identity as a woman. Carefully selecting her materials from found objects and images from magazines, she creates collages that are layered with meaning. Each piece acknowledges aspects of subverted colonialist attitudes towards race as well as empowering notions of the indomitable female spirit. Many of her past works have used historical anatomical illustrations of the female body as their base, distorting and obscuring them to tackle confusing perceptions of women as either warrior queens or westernised sex symbols.
Wangechi Mutu exhibition 2014
Nguva na Nyoka (meaning ‘Sirens and Serpents’ in Swahili) is a showcase of Mutu’s most recent works, essentially influenced by aspects of coastal East African mythologies. In the exhibition collage pieces are juxtaposed with sculpture and a video installation entitled ‘Nguva’ which depicts an aquatic female creature emerging on to the land. As her second solo show at Victoria Miro, this carefully curated exhibition explores further modern cultural preconceptions surrounding the female body and spirit.
|Wangechi Mutu, Victoria Miro
|Victoria Miro, 16 Wharf Road , London, N1 7RW | MAP
|Old Street (underground)
14 Oct 14 – 19 Dec 14, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
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