Wangechi Mutu: The Hybrid Human

December 15, 2015


December 15, 2015

Contact: Lisa Radon

Wangechi Mutu: The Hybrid Human at PNCA

Exhibition | Wangechi Mutu: The Hybrid Human
January 19, 2016 – March 12, 2016
511 Gallery at PNCA

Artist’s Talk | Wangechi Mutu
March 10, 2016, 6:30pm
PNCA's Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design

Friday, December 15, 2015 – Portland – PNCA is proud to present Wangechi Mutu: The Hybrid Human in the 511 Gallery at the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design from January 19 through March 12, 2016. The Hybrid Human builds upon PNCA’s working relationship with the Jordan D. Schnitzer Family Foundation Collection. This will be Wangechi Mutu’s first solo exhibition in the Pacific Northwest and will be the inaugural exhibition in the annual Jordan D. Schnitzer Exhibition and Visiting Artist Series.

Wangechi Mutu is a trained sculptor who studied anthropology, and who first came to prominence through her collage works which fuse a diversity of sources culled from the image gluttony of late 20th century and early 21st Century life. Mutu draws from the aesthetics of traditional ritual arts, science fiction, and Afrofuturistic funkadelia. She makes use of materials from 19th century prints, fashion magazines, scientific periodicals, pornography, and ethnographic photographs to explore the contradictions of female and cultural identity and makes reference to colonial history, contemporary African politics, and the representation of the female in media. She combines her sourced materials with ink, paint, and reflective material to realize lusciously intricate full figure works and portraiture. Since the late 1990’s Mutu’s artworks have been keenly focused on the creation of surrealist characters that are hauntingly grotesque and seductive while they critique systems of power and patriarchy both political and aesthetic.

The Hybrid Human brings together several pieces, including complete sets of two series, the Histology of the Different Classes of Uterine Tumors from 2006 and The Original Nine Daughters, 2012. In Histology of the Different Classes of Uterine Tumors, Mutu builds upon the pages of a Victorian medical diagram to create portraits and masks that are powerfully alluring in their futuristic aura and at times frightful with a primordial feel.

The Jordan D. Schnitzer Exhibition and Visiting Artist Lecture Series will present an annual curated exhibition from the dynamic and expansive collection of more than 9,000 contemporary prints of Jordan D. Schnitzer and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation at the Pacific Northwest College of Art 511 Gallery. Enriching the exhibition experience, an invited artist in connection to the exhibit will engage with students, faculty and the public through lectures, studio visits, and collaborations with the MFA in Print Media program. Connecting the PNCA curriculum with the exhibition makes the gallery a unique place of study and research for the PNCA community where the Schnitzer collections present a direct and powerful teaching experience. Along with the Exhibition and Visiting Artist Series, several times each year selected works from the collections will be brought to the PNCA Object Library for both critical research and scholarly activities by students and faculty, linking the collection directly to the classroom experience.

Wangechi Mutu will present an artist’s talk on March 10, 2016, at 6:30pm at PNCA's Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design.

This exhibition of prints and collage works leads into the upcoming Southern Graphics Council International Conference in March and April 2016 taking place in Portland, Oregon. Wangechi Mutu: The Hybrid Human is co-presented with the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, PNCA’s MFA Print Media, and MFA Visual Studies Departments.

Wangechi Mutu (Kenyan (b. 1972))
Histology of the Different Classes of Uterine Tumors: Cancer of the Uterus, edition 14/25, 2006
glitter, fur, collage on found medical illustration paper
23 x 17 inches

About Pacific Northwest College of Art
As Oregon’s premiere college of art and design since 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) has helped shape the region’s visual arts landscape for more than a century. Today PNCA is a dynamic platform for 21st century art and design education at its new campus in the heart of downtown Portland. PNCA offers four BFA programs with 10 concentrations, six graduate programs within the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies and a Post-Baccalaureate program.