Wangechi Mutu

My Dirty Little Heaven

Wangechi Mutu - Artist of the year

30.04.2010 - 13.06.2010

Wangechi Mutu's installation at the Deutsche Guggenheim is the first exhibition in Deutsche Bank's new "Artist of the Year" program.

Wangechi Mutu - The Bride who married a Camel's head, 2009 - © Wangechi Mutu and Susanne Vielmetter - Los Angeles Projects

Wangechi Mutu
The Bride who married a Camel's head, 2009
© Wangechi Mutu and Susanne Vielmetter
Los Angeles Projects

The artist, who was born in Kenya in 1972 and currently lives in New York, was selected on the recom- mendation of the Deutsche Bank Global Art Advisory Council, comprised of the curators Okwui Enwezor, Hou Hanru, Udo Kittelmann, and Nancy Spector. The selection of Wangechi Mutu as "Artist of the Year 2010" reflects equally important focuses of Deutsche Bank´s art activities: internationalism, diversity and a connection between artistic themes and social issues. Unlike many other prizes, the "Artist of the Year" award does not include prize money, but is firmly embedded in Deutsche Bank´s art program, with which the bank has made contemporary art accessible to the public worldwide for 30 years. When the bank promotes young artists, it is not a matter of one-off financial support, but of conveying new and noteworthy artistic positions to a wide public and providing long-term impetus to the artist´s career. Therefore, the "Artist of the Year" is presented in a solo exhibition at the Deutsche Guggenheim. In addition, a selection of the artist´s works is purchased for the Deutsche Bank Collection. The focus is on young artists who have already amassed an unmistakable and extraordinary oeuvre, in which works on paper or photography play an important role. In 2010, moreover, works by Mutu can be seen on a floor devoted to the artist as part of the new art concept for the modernized towers of Deutsche Bank´s Frankfurt headquarters.

Wangechi Mutu - Intertwined, 2003 - © Wangechi Mutu and Susanne Vielmetter - Los Angeles Projects

Wangechi Mutu
Intertwined, 2003
© Wangechi Mutu and Susanne Vielmetter
Los Angeles Projects

For her solo exhibition, Mutu transformed the Deutsche Guggenheim into a suggestive environment which recalls both a protective cocoon and the improvised buildings found in Shanty Towns. She built organic-looking sculptural con- structions from simple means such as gray, felt-like blankets made of recycled materials or brown parcel tape. The creations cover walls and floors of the exhibition hall and at the same time provide the frame- work and background for Mutu´s collages and her new video work "Mud Fountain".

Wangechi Mutu´s installation is inspired by her memories of Berlin, among other things. During the period when she was attending a boarding school in Wales, Mutu visited Berlin as a member of a gospel choir shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Her impressions of the material discrepancies between East and West Berlin, as well as of the citizens of the former GDR´s tremendous desire for products which they had known hitherto only from TV and which they seemed to worship like fetishes, were an important point of departure for the project at the Deutsche Guggenheim.

Friedhelm Hütte, Global Head of Art, Deutsche Bank AG

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