A new monograph published by Phaidon delves into the multi-faceted work of Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu . The first of its kind, the volume packs hundreds of artworks, glimpses into Mutu’s Nairobi studio, and her own writings within its 160 pages. Known for mythologizing, the artist often incorporates found, organic materials like soil, feathers, bone, and ephemera into her collages and sculptures. The works broadly explore gender, sexuality, politics, and the natural world through expressive, hybrid figures imbued with otherworldly lore.
“Water Woman” (2017), bronze, 91 x 165 x 178 centimeters. All images © Wangechi Mutu, courtesy of Phaidon, shared with permission
To coincide with the book’s release, Phaidon has a limited-edition print available featuring Mutu’s dreamlike “WaterSpirit washed Pelican.” Explore an archive of her works on Instagram.
“Water Woman” (2017), bronze, 91 x 165 x 178 centimeters. Installation view at The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria, 2017
“You Are My Sunshine” (2015), collage painting on paper, 61 x 91 centimeters
“Mamaray” (2020), bronze, 165 x 366 x 488 centimeters
From left: “Mirror Faced I” (2020), soil, charcoal, paper pulp, wood glue, emulsion paint, gourd, brass beads, mirror, teak base, hair, wrought iron stand, 174 x 37 x 34 centimeters, bust 58 x 28 x 31 centimeters; “Mirror Faced II” (2020), soil, charcoal, paper pulp, wood glue, emulsion paint, desiccated baobab fruit, brass beads, mirror, teak base, hair, wrought iron stand, 168 x 31 x 36 centimeters, bust 50 x 25 x 28 centimeters; “Mirror Faced III” (2020), Soil, charcoal, paper pulp, wood glue, emulsion paint, brass beads, rose quartz, mirror, teak base, hair, wrought iron stand, 176 x 43 x 37 centimeters, bust 60 x 27 x 33 centimeters
Wangechi Mutu, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, 2021