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Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

The Modern Art Notes Podcast: Wangechi Mutu

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This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features artist Wangechi Mutu. The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University is currently showing “Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey,” the first mid-career survey of Mutu’s work. Curated by the Nasher’s Trevor Schoonmaker, the exhibition is on view through July 21. On May 23 the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in Sydney will debut a concurrent (but obviously different) Mutu survey. It will be up through August 14.

Mutu was born in Nairobi, Kenya, schooled in Wales and New York and lives in Brooklyn. Her work, which began as mostly collage-based but has evolved to include sculpture and room-sized installations. The winner of the 2010 Deutsche Bank “Artist of the Year,” Mutu has been featured in solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Art Pace, the Miami Art Museum, Kunsthalle Wien, the Art Gallery of Ontario and more.

Among the topics we discussed are:

  • How she builds her collages;
  • Her use of color, and whether it is prompted by her collaged elements or external factors;
  • Why she is interested in some of the materials she uses, including dirt; and
  • How and why she addresses the way global issues are played out on women’s bodies.

During the program I referenced this Art Gallery of Ontario-produced studio visit video.

This week’s tragic events in Boston caused the cancellation of the taping of this week’s second segment. Instead, this week’s program features a clip from my interview with Barry McGee last September. McGee is the subject of two significant exhibitions that are on view now: The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston is hosting the survey organized last year by the Berkeley Art Museum. It’s on view at the ICA through September 2. See ICA Boston curator Jenelle Porter’s video tour of the show. McGee is showing new work at the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth (at right) through June 2 as part of the museum’s “Focus” series.

How to listen: Download the show to your PC/mobile device. Subscribe to The MAN Podcast via iTunesSoundCloudStitcher or RSS. Stream the program at MANPodcast.com.

The Modern Art Notes Podcast is an independent production of Modern Art Notes Media. The program is edited by Wilson Butterworth. The MAN Podcast is released under this Creative Commons license.

For links images of artworks discussed on this week’s show, please click through to the jump.

Wangechi Mutu, The Bride Who Married a Camel’s Head, 2009.

Wangechi Mutu, She seas dance, 2012.

Wangechi Mutu, still from The end of eating everything, 2012. See a trailer on MOCAtv.

Wangechi Mutu, Yo Mama, 2003. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Wangechi Mutu, Funkalicious fruit field, 2007.

Wangechi Mutu, Eat Cake (still), 2012.

Wangechi Mutu, I Put a Spell on You, 2005.

Wangechi Mutu, Kibaba installation, 2012.

Barry McGee, installation view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Barry McGee, installation view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

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