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Weekly Watchlist: Wangechi Mutu Returns to Nature

Though I’d known about Wangechi Mutu’s work for a long time, I wasn’t aware of the process behind it until making this film. That discovery was as exciting as the layered, visually stunning pieces that she is known for.

What might not be known about her work is their provenance in humble bits of wood, everyday khanga patterns, and soil that evokes the ferric smell of the earth after the first rain. To visit her light-filled Nairobi studio and capture the transformation of these commonplace materials into remarkable sculptures and paintings was a treat and a pleasure—and an honor to share with you.

We hope this portrait of the artist shines a light on her approach to creating work that addresses the feminine, the impact of colonization, and the collective duty of every living organism in sustaining our ecosystem. And I hope that you enjoy watching this film as much as we enjoyed making it.

Jackie Lebo
Co-Director, “Wangechi Mutu: Between the Earth and the Sky
July 21, 2021

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Deepen your connection to Art21

Four new films investigate the relationship between memory and materials

Clockwise from top-left: Phyllida Barlow, Wangechi Mutu, Guadalupe Maravilla, and Adam Milner. © Art21, Inc. 2021.

Fresh from the four-film run of our spring programming season, we are thrilled to launch into our summer season with yet another batch of new films across our Extended Play and New York Close Up series.

Stream the first three releases of the season today.

This season features four artists—Phyllida Barlow, Guadalupe Maravilla, Adam Milner, and Wangechi Mutu—whose practices investigate the complex interconnectedness between artistic materials and personal experiences.

Tune in for a new premiere every Wednesday in July at 12:00 p.m. ET on Art21.org and our YouTube channel.

See the film guide.

Upcoming workshops for educators

This August, we are proud to offer professional development opportunities to engage teachers with the work of contemporary artists.

Rethinking Curriculum focuses on how strategies such as active viewing can enhance and activate your curriculum in different ways. This workshop takes place on August 3 at 12:00 p.m. ET via Zoom. Registration is free.

Contemporary Art for Elementary Students invites participants to hear from seasoned elementary school teachers on how they teach with contemporary art and artists. This two-part program, taking place on August 4 at 12:00 p.m. via Zoom, begins with a webinar and concludes with an interactive workshop. Registration is free and required for each event.

Visit our education calendar for a list of upcoming workshops for educators.

Thank you for supporting our work

More than ever, online access to the lives and stories of artists is crucial, and Art21 is proud to share them with an ever-growing number of visitors including students, teachers, parents, and art enthusiasts alike from around the globe. If you are able at this time, please consider supporting the work of Art21. Every dollar makes a difference.