Wangechi Mutu

Wangechi Mutu (view of a work in progress)

I should have known better. The Studio Museum in Harlem opened the studios of its current artists in residence this afternoon, and there I was initially so dazzled by the work of Wangechi Mutu that I didn't give a thought to whether it had yet been widely seen. It turns out that it definitely has, and, silly I, even by me, both at Momenta and in The New Museum. Still, I think it must never have looked so mature, in fact so damn brilliant as it did today in her cluttered atelier on the third floor.

The work there was all on paper, painted and collaged with magazine cutouts into voluptuous, almost sculptural forms which defy an easy identity for either their medium or their portraiture, but they do sing.

Mutu is included in a group show which just opened at Chicago's Rhona Hoffman Gallery. Simon Warson is responsible for the terrific roster, whose other names are Tim Lokiec, Nick Mauss, Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry, Paul P., Adam Pendleton, Aida Ruilova, and Mickalene Thomas.

See Susan Vielmetter for images from 2002 and 2003.

[image, of a work in progress, captured off the artist's studio wall on Sunday]

UPDATED: caption added to image, second image removed, line with link to Susan Vielmutter gallery added, bracketed attribution at bottom revised