Wangechi Mutu’s New Pantheon.

Wangechi Mutu- Editioned Mixed-Media Collage- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

“Art is my way of speaking about things that are unspeakable, it is my truest voice and my strongest form of resistance,” Wangechi Mutu told Artnet. The Nairobi and New York-based artist explores questions of female representation, black identity, environmental catastrophe, and cultural trauma in her semi-figurative artworks. Her densely layered, oddly gnarled compositions show hybridized female figures who are simultaneously exquisite and grotesque, fantastical and forlorn.

Mutu’s collagraph, Second Born, is new to the Zane Bennett Contemporary collection. Mutu created it with Pace Editions in 2013, the same year as her first solo exhibition in the United States, Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey at the Nasher Museum of Art. The mixed-media piece is a powerful example of Mutu’s contemporary myth-making. By interweaving fact with fiction, she opens up possibilities for a pantheon of symbolic female characterizations, markedly different from those that appear in either classical history or popular culture.

Above: Wangechi Mutu, Kenyan Vibe.

Wangechi Mutu, Second Born,
24 kt gold, collagraph, relief, digital printing, collage and hand-coloring
36 x 43 in.

Click here to browse the complete Zane Bennett Contemporary Art collection.

El Anatsui’s Bottle-Top Sculpture

El Anatsui- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico
Image: El Anatsui.

“I work more like a sculptor and a painter put together,” says El Anatsui (b. 1944). The Ghanian artist’s fiery wall sculpture Paper and Gold is a vibrant testament to this process. The artwork is part of his critically acclaimed “bottle-top” series, assemblages made from thousands of aluminum pieces and stitched together with copper wire. The artist salvages these materials from recycling stations in his home of Nigeria, turning humble ephemera into flowing artworks that are often monumental in size. Click here to watch a video of the artist’s process on Art21, and scroll down to view the artwork.

El Anatsui,
Paper and Gold,
pigment inkjet print with hand-cut edges,
printed and hand-sculpted aluminum collage and copper wire,
20 x 20 in.

Click here to browse the Zane Bennett Contemporary Art collection.