COURTESY NEW MUSEUM. PHOTO: DARIO LASAGNI
“Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined,” 2023. Exhibition view: New Museum, New York.
Thematically and stylistically, Wangechi Mutu’s art is a bubbling stew of ingredients that don’t always cohere. Part Afro-Futurism, part cyber-punk, and part body horror, Mutu’s sculptures, collages, and mixed-media paintings cover a lot of ground. They weigh in on gender, race, colonialism, climate change, and globalism, and all of it is linked by a dense web of folkloric references that are often arcane, if not obtuse. Still, there’s no doubting the visual impact of the artist’s work if you don’t let its busyness get in your way.
“Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined” at the New Museum takes comprehensive stock of Mutu’s thirty-year career and occupies the entire building with over a hundred works spanning painting, collage, drawing, sculpture, and film.