One of my favorite contemporary artists, Wangechi Mutu, is having the first survey exhibit of her work in the United States. Born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1972, but based in Brooklyn since the early 1990s, it is fitting that the Brooklyn Museum is hosting this exhibit.
My only complaint, after soaking up the 50-plus luscious and complex collages, multimedia installations, sculptures and sketchbooks: it's not enough, I want to see more!
I'm such a hermit on the weekends of late, you know it really takes something special to get me on a train and get out of Manhattan and this exhibit didn't disappoint.
I took the N Train to Brooklyn and changed to the 2 to go a few more stops to Eastern Parkway. Easy peasey.
You can always tell when you are at a museum subway station because the art starts before you even go above ground - nice touch, MTA, let's be friends.
Fortunately for this hermit, I didn't have to walk too far from the train station to get to my destination. Heh.
As with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the entrance fee here of $12 for adults is actually just a "suggested donation." I paid $10 with the understanding that my "donation" would not include admission to the uber-trendy special Gaultier exhibit on the 5th floor. No problem, I came to Brooklyn for Wangechi, yo!
Got my admission badge -- well, even the Met's cool little metal badges are a thing of the past so I guess this isn't too shabby. Nice logo.
Up on the fourth floor I entered a nearly empty gallery -- it was a sunny Sunday, the museum was beginning to buzz yet I practically had Mutu's exhibit all to myself. This was the spectacular sculpture that met me when I rounded the corner into the first gallery.
I'd only seen Mutu's collages and mixed-media pieces and was not prepared to see this massive sculpture/installation. Upon close inspection, it appeared that the tree-like sculpture was molded out of heavy cotton/wool shipping blankets -- you know, those mottled heavy industrial blankets used to wrap furniture. And upon even closer inspection, I saw that those bright red pops of color were lace panties. Yep.
I really came to see her collages and mixed-media pieces in person. They blow my mind. I had to snap photos surreptitiously since the security guard advised me it was prohibited. There was only one guard on duty so I was able to wander through the 3 galleries and snap quite a few with my iPhone. The lighting was fairly dark so they're not the best photos -- I've included some better photos from her catalogue when I just couldn't get a decent photo.
Turning past the textile tree, and on to the other works. I'll let the images speak for themselves………………..
Pretty Double-Head , 2010
Mixed media, ink, collage, and spray paint on Mylar, 34x41.75 inches.
Lizard Love, 2006
Mixed media, ink, spray paint and collage on Mylar. 25 x21.5 inches
Le Noble Savage, 2006
Ink and collage on Mylar, 91.75x54 inches
One Hundred Lavish Months of Bushwhack, 2004
Cut-and-pasted printed paper with watercolor, synthetic polymer paint, and pressure-sensitive stickers on transparentized paper, 68.5x42 inches
Ink, acrylic, collage, and contact paper on Mylar, 81x52 inches.
Once upon a time she said, I'm not afraid and her enemies became afraid of her The End. 2013
Mixed-media wall drawing
Riding Death in My Sleep, 2002
Ink and collage on paper, 60x44 inches
Yo Mama, 2003
Ink mica flakes, pressure-sensitive synthetic polymer sheeting, cut-and-pasted printed paper, painted paper, and synthetic polymer paint on paper. 59.125x85inches
Your Story My Curse, 2006
Mixed-media collage on Mylar, 101.5x109 inches
There were more pieces including 3 video installations and pages from her sketchbooks -- this is a must-see exhibit. If you need a reason to leave Manhattan, this is it. Heh.
Time to go home…….