Wangechi Mutu, “Yo Mama” (2003) featured in “Mangechi Mutu: Intertwined” at The New Museum

Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined
March 2nd – June 4th, 2023
The New Museum
235 Bowery
New York, NY 10002

Intertwined, a massive solo exhibition of work by artist Wangechi Mutu, will be on display at the New Museum from March 2nd to June 4th, 2023. The museum will showcase more than 100 works across all mediums that Mutu completed from the mid-1990s to today. The exhibition will take over the entire museum, including the New Museum’s three main floors, lobby, “Screens Series” program on the lower level, seventh floor Sky Room, and a new commission for the building’s glass façade.

Mutu first garnered acclaim in the late 1990s with her exploration of camouflage and transformation in her collage-based work. She continues this journey across several media that combine mythical forms and folklore-inspired narratives with layered socio-historical references. With an undergraduate study in anthropology and her time living in New York working with Nairobi, Mutu’s art challenges the typical classification of cultures and histories.

Ahead of the exhibition’s opening, The New Museum has revealed that Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined will trace connections between newer developments in the artist’s sculptural work and her decades-long exploration of the impacts of colonialism, globalization, and African and diasporic cultural traditions. Mutu’s work addresses modern realities while offering new perspectives of a drastically changing future impacted by feminism, Afrofuturism, and interspecies symbiosis.

Wangechi Mutu, In Two Canoe (2022) featured in “Mangechi Mutu: Intertwined” at The New Museum

The exhibition will include some of the artist’s earliest paper work and smaller scale sculptures, extending to newer, more recent work. The Second Floor will feature connections between the artist’s collage-based practice and her work in sculpture, including “Yo Mama” (2003), originally commissioned by the New Museum in 2003 for the exhibition Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Also featured on the floor will be some of Mutu’s experimental collages, which combine corporeal, mechanical, and botanical forms.

The Third Floor will continue with her sculptural work, alongside works in video and collage that emphasize natural materials. The Fourth Floor will feature a portion of Mutu’s collages from the Subterranea series (2021–22) alongside recent large-scale works in bronze. In the lobby will be the sculpture “In Two Canoe” (2021), recently presented at Storm King Art Center.

Wangechi Mutu, “The New Ones, will free us” (2019). featured in “Mangechi Mutu: Intertwined” at The New Museum

Intertwined gives viewers the chance to see the progression of Mutu’s career, while highlighting the key role New York institutions have played in the development of her practice — from early commissions at the New Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the former Museum of African Art to her historic 2019 commission for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s façade and her recent presentation at Storm King Art Center.

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