Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

Wangechi Mutu, Family Tree, 2012.*
March 7, 2013
Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey

March 21–July 21, 2013

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
Box 90732
Durham, NC 27708

The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University has organized Wangechi Mutu’s first survey in the United States, the most comprehensive and innovative show yet for this internationally renowned, multidisciplinary artist. The touring exhibition, Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey, opens March 21.

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey presents more than 50 works from the mid-1990s to the present, including collage, drawing, sculpture, installation and video. The exhibition features many of the artist’s most iconic collages drawn from major international collections, rarely seen early works and new creations. The exhibition also unveils the artist’s sketchbooks of intimate drawings that reveal her creative process and inspirations, on public view for the first time. Other new highlights include Mutu’s first-ever animated video, created in collaboration with recording artist Santigold and commissioned by the Nasher Museum. Mutu also will transform the gallery into an environmental installation, including a monumental wall drawing, which evokes an enchanted forest and allows visitors to immerse themselves in the artist’s work.

The exhibition is curated by Trevor Schoonmaker, Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum.

“We are very proud to present Wangechi Mutu’s most innovative and exhilarating work,” Schoonmaker said. “Followers of Mutu’s work will be amazed by her new ideas and creations, and will gain unprecedented insight into her artistic process and evolution as an artist over the past 15 years. Her work is as seductive and beautiful as it is critical and disturbing.”

The Nasher Museum is the first venue for the touring exhibition, which will be on view at Duke through July 21, 2013. Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey will travel to the Brooklyn Museum of Art in September 2013, the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami in April 2014 and the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in September 2014.

Mutu was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is best known for her large-scale collages depicting female figures in lush, otherworldly landscapes. Her work explores issues of gender, race, war, globalization, colonialism and the eroticization of the black female body. She creates mysterious cyborgian figures pieced together with human, animal, machine and monster parts. She often combines found materials and magazine cutouts with sculpture and painted imagery, sampling from sources as diverse as African traditions, international politics, the fashion industry and science fiction.

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey is accompanied by a 160-page, color-illustrated catalogue with critical texts by Mutu, Schoonmaker, art historian Kristine Stiles and critic and musician Greg Tate. The exhibition catalogue is published by the Nasher Museum and distributed by Duke University Press.

At the Nasher Museum, Schoonmaker curated the nationally touring exhibitions The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl (2010), Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool (2008) and Street Level: Mark Bradford, William Cordova and Robin Rhode, (2007). He is the editor of Fela: From West Africa to West Broadway (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey is made possible by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Press contact: 
Wendy Hower Livingston, T 919 475 3425 / [email protected]

Museum hours:
Tuesday–Friday 10–5pm; Thursdays 10–9pm; Saturdays 10–5pm; Sundays 12–5pm; closed Mondays.

Exhibition Opening and Artist Talk by Wangechi Mutu
Thursday, March 20, at 7pm
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
*Image above:
Wangechi Mutu, Family Tree, 2012. Suite of 13, mixed-media collage on paper, 16.25 x 12.25 inches (41.28 x 31.12 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Museum purchase with additional funds provided by Trent Carmichael (T’88, P’17), Blake Byrne (T’57), Marjorie and Michael Levine (T’84, P’16), Stefanie and Douglas Kahn (P’11, P’13), and Christen and Derek Wilson (T’86, B’90, P’15). Image courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. © Wangechi Mutu. Photo by Robert Wedemeyer.




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March 7, 2013

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