The Fantastic, Feminine and Futuristic Work of Wangechi Mutu

Brooklyn, NEW YORK—Armory Arts Week is always bursting with more events and exhibitions than any one person could ever make it to. One exhibition worth taking time out for was across the bridge in Brooklyn. The final days of Wangechi Mutu‘s solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum occurred during New York’s biggest art week. On view from to Oct. 11, 2013 to March 9, 2014, “A Fantastic Journey” showcased the Kenya-born, Brooklyn-based artist’s multifaceted practice.

Wangechi does wonders with images clipped from magazines. Her mixed-media collages and site-specific installations have been described as Afro futuristic. Among issues related to race, gender and identity, her works explores the female body. Her images are not traditionally beautiful, rather they are powerful, imaginative and science-fiction-oriented.

Wangechi Mutu installing the site specific work that opened her Brooklyn Museum exhibition.

The exhibition debuted at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University last year and after the Brooklyn Museum it is headed to the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, where the exhibition opens April 18.

The Miami museum explains Wangechi’s inspirations and themes thus:

“Combining materials and imagery from sources as diverse as African traditions, international politics, the high fashion industry and science fiction, Mutu creates works that depict fantastical worlds as places for profound exploration of race, gender and power. Her work is a critical investigation of issues ranging from colonialism to displacement, ritual, perceptions of Africa and the female form.”

“A Fantastic Journey” will be on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami from April 18 to July 6, 2014.

All photos © Arts Observer

Installation view of “Suspended Playtime,” 2008/2013 (packing blankets, twine, garbage bags and gold string), with “Humming,” 2010 (mixed media, ink, paint, glitter, fake pearls, and collage on Mylar) in the background, at Brooklyn Museum.

Detail of “Suspended Playtime” at Brooklyn Museum.

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