Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
"There are almost always figures in my work, and they all gravitate towards being quite 'female-ish.' Again, often they have a slightly deformed or skewed quality, like I believe every single one of us does. In my mind, there's always a disjuncture between who they are and what we see them as, as well as what they think they appear to be. I believe our bodies are only a single part of the many dimensions of our identity and, in some ways, the body becomes a trap in the understanding of the whole. We can invent, transform, re-imagine ourselves through manipulating our outer appearance and, thus, 'conquer' adversity through our physicality; or we can become subjugated…often there may not be a choice." Wangechi Mutu, excerpted from Wangechi Mutu: This You Call Civilization?.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Text by Okwui Enwezor, Lauri Firstenberg, Friedhelm Hütte, Courtney J. Martin, Klaus Ottmann, Pierre de Weck.
Kenyan sculptor and anthropologist Wangechi Mutu (born 1972) mines ethnographic photography, fashion, sport, porn and popular-science publications such as National Geographic to develop her fierce critique of the deformation of the female body by consumerism in elegant, tapering spirals of collage and drawing. Mutu refers to her hybrid women as “warrior women” whom she augments and contorts in prosthetic treatments. Often indefinably horrific, Mutu’s complexly patterned works are often pitched between decorative abstraction and mutant figuration, and as Klaus Ottman points out in an essay included here, her hybrid creatures evoke “the genocidal horrors inflicted by African rebels in Sierra Leone and Sudanese soldiers in Darfur while also recalling the imaginative heads of Archimboldo; the erotic contortions of Egon Schiele; and the photomontages of Hannah Höch.” Mutu’s work, presented here in over 130 color images, has advanced a fresh treatment of black female identity, consumer culture and postcolonialism.
Published by Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Edited by David Moos. Text by Jennifer Gonzalez, Odili Donald Odita, Raphael Rubinstein, et al.
The alluring and intricate collages of Kenyan-born, New York-based artist Wangechi Mutu (born 1972) draw the viewer into narratives of beauty, consumerism, colonialism, race, identity and gender politics. Oriented around imagery of the human body, Mutu's work aims at a visual deconstruction of traditional figuration, reconciling the experience of her Kenyan upbringing with present-day American realities. Published to accompany Mutu's first major survey at the Art Gallery of Ontario, This You Call Civilization? demonstrates the breadth of the artist's oeuvre to date, encompassing numerous works on paper produced since 2001, plus two large-scale installations and two video works. It also includes excerpts from favorite key source books selected by Mutu from her personal library, each of them formative in her quest to raise public awareness about racial and political issues through her art.
PUBLISHER Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 8 x 9 in. / 128 pgs / 62 color.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 5/31/2010 Out of print
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: FALL 2010 p. 97
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9781894243643TRADE List Price: $29.95 CDN $35.00
Published by Verlag Für moderne Kunst Nürnberg. Text by Angela Stief. Interview by Gerald Matt.
Kenyan-born Wangechi Mutu makes collage works from such materials as ink, clippings from fashion, porn and popular science magazines, glitter, packing tape and rabbit fur. In her fragmented and grotesque figures, Mutu comments ironically on the stereotypes of exotic femininity, transforming them into freakily distorted human shapes. This volume focuses on Mutu's portraits.
Published by Damiani. Edited by Douglas Singleton. Text by Isolde Brielmaier, Michael Veal, Malik Gaines.
“Females carry the marks, language and nuances of their culture more than the male. Anything that is desired or despised is always placed on the female body,” states Kenyan-born, New York-based artist Wangechi Mutu, the subject of this highly anticipated first monograph. In recent years Mutu’s work has become increasingly sought-after in the international art world, making high-profile appearances at the important art fairs and auctions. What makes her interesting, however, is her fierce and contemporary use of the well-worn medium of collage. Mutu deals with female and cultural identity in large-scale figurative pieces constructed from found and drawn imagery. Her figures are freakish and erotic hybrids of the primitive, contemporary and post-human. These sometimes garish, diseased, ravaged and distorted figures are made from seductive or silly materials like glossy fashion magazine pictures, glitter or fun fur. They refer to colonial history, contemporary African politics, the history of art and fashion--in often quite irreverent ways. Mutu’s own diverse history--she has studied both anthropology and sculpture and has lived in Nairobi, Wales, New York and New Haven, where she received her MFA from Yale University in 2001--seems a likely source for her manifold concerns. This volume surveys Mutu’s work to date.