Kenyan-born Wangechi Mutu will make works for New York’s Metropolitan Museum

By Victoria Valentine

THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART in New York recently announced new artist commissions.

The Met plans a series of contemporary art installations at its Fifth Avenue flagship. For one of the projects, Wangechi Mutu is creating sculptures that will be installed in the niches in the museum’s Fifth Avenue facade.

The works will be unveiled in the fall, marking the first time in the Met’s nearly 150-year history that its grand Beaux-Arts exterior has been utilized for the display of art.

Mutu is the first artist commissioned for what will be an annual series of outdoor installations. The practice of the Kenyan-born, Brooklyn-based artist is grounded in images and materials. She works in a variety of mediums, making sculpture, paintings, collage, and videos that explore race, gender, and relationships between the body and nature. Mutu’s works will be on view at The Met Sept. 9, 2019-Jan. 12, 2020.

The museum also announced a painting installation with Kent Monkman slated for the Great Hall and an immersive video installation by Ragnar Kjartansson to be presented in the Robert Lehman Wing atrium.

“These projects are a manifestation of The Met’s desire and ability to collaborate with artists and current artistic production in an unusual way,” Max Hollein, director of The Met, said in a statement. “The Met itself, the building, and its public spaces will become temporary platforms for presenting new work, offering powerful opportunities to display contemporary art for our broad audience to experience.”

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