Artist Wangechi Mutu (b. 1972, Nairobi, Kenya) is known for her self-proclaimed “maximalist aesthetic,” hybrid compositions, and wall-based works that add texture and dimension to architectural spaces. Feminism, Afrofuturism, displacement, and marginal spaces figure in her category-defying collage and sculpture work.
In a new commission for the ICA, Mutu will use the rough, gray rescue blankets of humanitarian aid efforts and emergencies to create a less rational interpretation of the world map. Titled A Promise to Communicate, the work will also create a space for visitors to explore ideas of public space, communication, and free speech, addressing the idea of a world that despite its increasing potential for collectivity struggles to communicate in a comprehensive way.
Organized by Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator, with Jessica Hong, Assistant Curator.
Installation view, Wangechi Mutu: A Promise to Communicate, ICA/Boston, 2018. Photo by Caitlin Cunningham. © Wangechi Mutu