Sunday, December 22, 2013

Worlds, Hopeful: The Art of Wangechi Mutu

Wangechi Mutu is the artist I have most often returned to this year-- her work draws me in, inspiring with its grace, strength and beauty (a word that so rarely enters into today's art critical discussion). She presents a self-assured, singular vision, unmistakably her own, yet welcomes us all to join her-- a calmly passionate creator of grounded globalized mysteries.  

Border crossings, chimerical figures, the echoes of fairy tale reverberating in the space age, layers of history framing today's concerns...a palimpsestic world that beguiles and astonishes, that forces the viewer to think.

Above all: a world that has women at its center.  Matter of fact, not fragile; axis and volume aligned.

For more by and about Mutu and her work, click here and here

P.S.  Would be an interesting exercise to look at Mutu's work in the context of others wakening us to a world that transcends borders (without overriding the cultures contained within), one based on emancipatory dynamics, and a sense of play and humor as the deepest way to make serious points and effect serious change.   Thinking here of-- among others-- Kiki Smith, Anish Kapoor, of Ursula K. Le Guin, Janelle Monae, Amitav Ghosh, Anoushka Shankar, and Herbie Hancock.

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