Wangechi Mutu, ‘Far far away’, 2015, Rush Philanthropic Benefit Auction 2015

This year’s “Art for Life" honoree Wangechi Mutu, draws on numerous cultural and art historical references in works that deftly blend found imagery with painterly elements. The intersecting forms and central figure of a black woman are emblematic of much of Mutu’s work—drawing attention to elided histories, bodies, and experiences within a contemporary context. Mutu has exhibited extensively around the world and has works in the collections of numerous prominent collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, The Studio Museum in Harlem; and the Miami Art Museum.

Framed: 39.1875 x 31.75 inches

Signature: Unsigned, certificate of authenticity provided.

About Wangechi Mutu

Wangechi Mutu explores the violence and misrepresentation that women, particularly black women, experience in the contemporary world. Referencing artists such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Chris Ofili, and Romare Bearden, as well as art-historical movements like Surrealism, her drawings and collages graft together images from anthropological, ethnographic and medical texts, Vogue, and pornography. Mutu commonly works on paper or Mylar, applying her sampled figures along with ink, acrylic paint, and materials like plastic pearls. She has spoken of her art—which includes sculpture and installations with similar coiled, hybrid imagery—as using the aesthetic of rejection and wretchedness to explore the hopeful or sublime.

Kenyan, b. 1972, Nairobi, Kenya, based in Brooklyn, New York