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The New Museum, New York Opens Intertwined by Wangechi Mutu

February 23–June 25, 2023 | New York


The New Museum in New York has once again made an outstanding contribution to the art industry with its exhibition of Wangechi Mutu’s ‘Intertwined’, curated by Massimiliano Gioni, and Natalie Bell. Mutu’s work has been recognized worldwide for its unique exploration of identity, race, gender, culture and ecology, and this exhibition brings together over a hundred works from across her twenty-five-year career, spanning all four floors of the museum.


Wangechi Mutu, 2021 - photographed by Cynthia Edorh


‘Intertwined’ offers an insight into Mutu’s artistic evolution, from her early collages that used found materials and combined images of women from various sources, to her recent sculptures that incorporate human, animal and plant elements to create hybrid creatures. Mutu’s engagement with African history and mythology is also highlighted, along with her critique of colonialism, globalization and environmental degradation. Through her work, Mutu challenges stereotypes and representations of Black women in Western culture, and creates new narratives and visions of empowerment and resilience.


The exhibition features Mutu’s most iconic works, as well as new commissions and site-specific interventions. One such intervention is the installation ‘Water Woman’, which is a large-scale sculpture of a female figure emerging from a pool of water, surrounded by a soundscape of water and birds. The sculpture is inspired by the Mami Wata, a water spirit that is revered in many African cultures, and is made of clay, wood, metal and resin. ‘Water Woman’ evokes themes of creation, transformation and healing that are central to Mutu’s work. Also in the highlight is ‘The NewOnes, will free Us’, a series of four bronze sculptures that were originally commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2019 and are now installed on the New Museum’s façade.


The exhibition also includes Mutu’s video works, such as ‘The End of eating Everything’ (2013) and ‘Nguva na Nyoka’ (Sirens and Serpents, 2014), along with a performance program curated by Mutu in collaboration with the New Museum’s Department of Education and Public Engagement. The performance program features artists who share Mutu’s interest in exploring the connections between the human and the natural, the personal and the political, and the real and the imaginary.


'Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined,' 2023. Exhibition view: New Museum, New York. Courtesy New Museum | Image credit: Dario Lasagni


‘Intertwined’ is a comprehensive survey of Mutu’s work, showcasing her artistic vision and impact. The exhibition runs from February 23 to June 25, 2023, and has received widespread acclaim from critics and audiences. Mutu’s contributions to the art industry are profound, and this exhibition at the New Museum validates her continued relevance and influence.


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The New Museum, New York Opens Intertwined by Wangechi Mutu

February 27, 2023

Fredrick Favour

2 min read