Wangechi Mutu’s Sculptures in Bronze Populate Storm King Art Center with Mythical Beings

“In Two Canoe” (2022). All images courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, by David Regen, shared with permission

Storm King Art Center is situated on the ancestral homelands of the Lenape, a reference point that Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu returns to for a new exhibition at the outdoor museum in Hudson Valley. Comprised of her signature sculptures of immense hybrid figures, the largely bronze body of work addresses settler-colonialism and the inextricable tie between people and the land.

Perpetually evoking nature and mythology to address historical issues of contemporary relevance, Mutu positions women as the most powerful, revering their physical form and highlighting their innate connection to ecology. The artist’s latest work, “In Two Canoe,” features a pair of figures with branch-like appendages momentarily straddling a skinny vessel, their faces wrapped in mangrove leaves. “This plant has moved everywhere, has made journeys like those who were kidnapped from Africa and taken to the Americas. The water seals this unified story we’ve created for ourselves. We are all connected on this sphere of Earth and the water is how we go and find each other,” Mutu says in an interview.

Also on the Museum Hill site is the regal “Crocodylus,” a sleek reptilian creature that faces an opening in the trees. The scaly form corresponds with the massive coiled snake that occupies “Nyoka,” one of five sculptural baskets spread across the meadow. Inside the center are smaller earthen works constructed with natural materials like bone and soil gathered near her Nairobi studio.

Mutu’s sculptures are on view at Storm King through November 7, and she’s hosting a film screening at the museum on September 3. To follow her practice, head to Instagram.

 

“Crocodylus” (2020)

“In Two Canoe” (2022)

“Shavasana II” (2019)

Detail of “Nyoka” (2022)

“Crocodylus” (2020)

Detail of “Shavasana II” (2019)

“Nyoka” (2022)

Share This Post:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

On Key

Related Posts

Sam Gilliam (1933–2022)

Sam Gilliam, who profoundly reshaped the idea of painting by liberating the canvas from the frame and painting in three dimensions, died of kidney disease at his home in Washington, DC, June 26 at the

Innovative Abstract Artist Sam Gilliam Dies at 88

Artist Sam Gilliam passed away on Saturday, June 25 at age 88. Throughout his seven-decade career, Gilliam reinvented and continuously reshaped abstract painting and sculpture. Incorporating rich constellations of forms, textures, and materials to forge inventive compositions, his work has exerted a profound influence on subsequent generations of artists.

8 Convicted After Stealing Banksy Artwork in France

Eight men were convicted for stealing a Banksy piece in a French court last week, the National reported. The piece was a painted figure on the door of the Batalcan concert hall in Paris that memorialized those who lost their lives at the club in a 2015 attack. In 2019, the door was stolen by

Scroll to Top

ARE YOU IN?

Yes! Sign me up for AFYC's weekly newsletter featuring valuable info for artists, nonprofits, upcoming contests, and our new product offerings.

Count Me In!