Lehmann Maupin Presents Wangechi Mutu

May 17, 2017

Mirror | 2016. red soil | paper pulp | wood glue | mirror | 20.75 x 15 x 9 in | 52.7 x 38.1 x 22.9 cm. Courtesy the artist, Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong, and Gladstone Gallery, New York. ©

Lehmann Maupin is pleased to announce the gallery’s first exhibition with Wangechi Mutu in Hong Kong. The Kenya-born artist, based in New York and Nairobi, will debut a new body of work comprised of sculptures and paintings representing the artist’s use of materials from familiar surroundings that have informed her continued engagement with the natural world.

Mutu is internationally known for her mixed media collages that deal with issues of identity, and in recent years her oeuvre has expanded with a focus on sculpture, performance, and animation.

These works are often brought together in the form of cohesive installations, as was exemplified in her work shown at the 56th Venice Biennale, in 2015. Mutu’s practice was recognized early for its unique, globally influenced hybrid aesthetic that merged biology, pop culture, science fiction, religion, and philosophy, where Mutu explored the relationship between identity, the body, and nature.

Wangechi Mutu ©

In her most recent work, Mutu continues to explore the relationship between humans and the natural environment through new materials. The work is made from organic matter, including rocks and minerals, iron rich soil, roots, and branches sourced from different parts of East Africa.

The humanoid objects and spherical virus-like sculptures are representative of a range of biological phenomena that represent living matter, replete with the potential for regeneration or destruction.

For the artist, the liminal space of transformation is what offers the greatest metaphorical potential, as captured in her new abstract paintings that depict moments of mutation and growth frozen in time.

Mutu’s new work identifies a common thread found in multiple creation mythologies, in which humans are formed from the earth and sea. Her transformation of raw natural elements to hand hewn forms, thus becomes analogous of human evolution from biological to societal construct that shape our understanding of nature and one another.

Wangechi Mutu

Date: May 18 — July 8, 2017
Address: 407 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Hong Kong

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 18, 6 – 8 PM

W: Lehmann Maupin
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Written by Luxuria Lifestyle Hong Kong & Macau

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