Wangechi Mutu

A Fantastic Journey

Wangechi Mutu

Book Pages: 176 Illustrations: 276 color illustrations Published: June 2013

Art and Visual Culture > Art History, Cultural Studies, Gender and Sexuality > Feminism and Women’s Studies

This richly illustrated full-color catalog accompanies the first major solo museum exhibition and most comprehensive survey of the artist Wangechi Mutu's work, on view at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University from March 21, 2013, through July 21, 2013, before traveling to the Brooklyn Museum. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1972, and now based in Brooklyn, Mutu renders the complex global sensibility of the early twenty-first century through a distinctly hybrid aesthetic. She combines found materials and magazine cutouts with sculpture and painted imagery, sampling from sources and phenomena as diverse as African traditions, international politics, the fashion industry, and science fiction. In her work, Mutu marries poetic symbolism with sociopolitical critique to explore issues of gender, race, war, colonialism, and, particularly, the exoticization of the black female body.

The many images included in Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey highlight the most important and iconic works that Mutu has created since the mid-1990s, as well as portray new collages, drawings, videos, and site-specific installations. The catalog also offers an intimate look into her sketchbooks and includes an interview with the artist conducted by the exhibition's curator, Trevor Schoonmaker. Essays by Schoonmaker, the art historian Kristine Stiles, and the critic, musician, and producer Greg Tate are paired with an illustrated chronology of Mutu's work.

Publication of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University


“The catalogue is an impressive insight into her work on its own, although you’re left curious where Mutu will take this all next, as she’s instigated so many transformations in this beginning of her career." — Allison Meier, Hyperallergic

“An extremely handsome book for an artist who received her MFA in 2000, and brings multiple perspectives to the work. . . . It is beautifully produced, and so permeated with Mutu’s work that it begins and ends with several text-less pages of drawings, and her work occupies both end-papers and cover. What an inspired idea.” — Andrea Kirsh, Art Blog


Availability: Not in Stock
Price: $39.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Trevor Schoonmaker is Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, where he has curated the traveling exhibitions The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl, Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool, and Street Level: Mark Bradford, William Cordova and Robin Rhode. He is the editor of Fela: From West Africa to West Broadway.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Foreword / Sarah Schroth  13
Curator's Acknowledgments / Trevor Schoonmaker  15
Artist's Acknowledgments / Wangechi Mutu  17
A Fantastic Journey / Trevor Schoonmaker  21
Wangechi Mutu's Family Tree / Kristine Stiles  51
The Gikuyu Mythos vs. the Cullud Grrrl from Out of Space, A Wangechi Mutu Feature / Greg Tate  83
A Conversation / Wangechi Mutu and Trevor Schoonmaker  95
A Fantastic Journey at the Nasher Museum of Art  118
Wangechi Mutu: Selected Biography  146
Contributors  153
Exhibition Checklist  156
Wangechi Mutu: Selected Bibliography  165
Biography Reproduction Credits  167
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing

Winner, 2014 Mary Ellen LoPresti Award, presented by the Southeast Chapter of Art Libraries of North America

Additional InformationBack to Top
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-938989-36-3
Publicity material