Wangechi Mutu: Artist Portrait

Wangechi Mutu

Born 1972.

Works by Wangechi Mutu at Sotheby's

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Wangechi Mutu Biography

Contemporary artist Wangechi Mutu has become a paragon of international artistic production that challenges traditions of technique and material while investigating gender, race, collective trauma and identity. The young but prolific artist has captivated audiences with her dynamic, unflinching objects and installations.

Born in Nairobi in 1972, Mutu moved to New York in the 1990s where she studied anthropology at the New School, after which she completed her BFA at Cooper Union in 1996 and a Master’s degree in sculpture from the Yale School of Art in 2000. Mutu produces works in a broad range of media including video, performance, sculpture and collage, at times synthesizing multiple modes of production. Her installations often use images of the female form as a means to comment on representations of black women in contemporary society, particularly in the context of the commercialism of the United States and its wide spread effects in Africa. Mutu has collaborated with cultural figures including architect David Adjaye for their 2006 project Exhuming Gluttony: A Lover’s Requiem, an installation in an Upper East Side townhouse, as well as with recording artist Santigold for the artist’s first animated video The End of Eating Everything, in 2013, which was awarded the BlackStar Film Festival Audience Award for Favorite Experimental Film.

Mutu’s works have been exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Tate Modern, London; the Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and many other major institutions of modern and contemporary art. She was named the Deutsche Bank “Artist of the Year” in 2010, which included a solo exhibition at the Berlin Deutsche Guggenheim. She participated in the 5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art in 2013, and the 2015 Venice Biennale and Paris Triennial. Her works have sold for increasingly higher prices; Throne and Insides Outgrow Outsides sold at Sotheby’s in 2018 for $50,000 and $57,500, respectively.

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Wangechi Mutu Videos and Stories

Museums with Works by Wangechi Mutu

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Artist Image: 2015 Cynthia Edorh