Faith For Justice
Christmas Week 2
Wangari Mathenge - THE ASCENDANTS V (INTERCESSORY PRAYER)
The Black Portraits - Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA & Spellman College GA
Oh To Wander (Wonder What She’ll See When She Sees)
Featuring Wangari Mathenge, Otis Kwame Kye Quiacoe, Betye Saar and Kehinde Wiley.
To complement the presentation of The Obama Portraits by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald on tour from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery (NPG), LACMA presents Black American Portraits. Remembering Two Centuries of Black American Art, guest curated by David Driskell at LACMA 45 years ago, this exhibition reframes portraiture to center Black American subjects, sitters, and spaces.
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo
Stretching The Body Featuring Wangari Mathenge
The Stretching the Body group exhibition brings together a group of thirteen women artists from different generations and geographical origins, who through the medium of painting reflect on the genre of portraiture and the theme of the human figure.
The Ascendants: A Short Story
After The Break (2022), a painting by artist Wangari Mathenge takes us inside a home, where a person appears before an upholstered chair and ottoman covered in a tropical leaf pattern. The space is accented by actual flora—raspberry tiger lilies and kelly green lemongrass—along with a teacup and a clementine. The subject, most likely a woman, is stretched over the ottoman, legs and head not pictured, but presumed to be dangling. The body language hits a familiar nerve; they’re either in distress or taking respite amid struggle.
Pippy Houldsworth Gallery
You Are Here
Pippy Houldsworth Gallery presents You Are Here, the first UK solo exhibition of US-based Kenyan artist Wangari Mathenge. The exhibition draws on early memories and personal observations to address the diasporic experience of home and establishing oneself at a distance from one’s cultural origin. You Are Here also includes the artist’s first large-scale installation. This work, incorporating Mathenge’s first stop-motion animation, will invite the viewer to step into the space of her paintings.
House and Garden
The Art Exhibitions Not to Miss this Autumn
The first major UK solo exhibition from the US-based Kenyan artist Wangari Mathenge will illustrate her personal experience of relocation, responding to questions of race and acculturation. In a series of large paintings titled The Ascendants (including XIII above), she depicts figures in domestic situations demonstrating the juxtaposition of relocation, along with everyday objects that serve as cultural reminders of one’s heritage. Accompanying this series will be an installation of a living space from the Seventies, which is reminiscent of the years the artist spent in London, with a vintage television playing a stop-motion animation.
The Sunday Times Style
Six Hot Artists To Namedrop
Wangari Mathenge was 31 and working as a lawyer in Massachusetts when she began to take art classes. “I was always good at art,” she says. “And I thought I’d go to art school, but my parents had other ideas.” So she studied business instead, and then law, leaving Nairobi for Washington
Sickert’s Portraits and Hampstead Garden Suburb in the 1970s
Like Sickert, the Chicago-based Kenyan artist Wangari Mathenge knows something about interiors and interior lives; unlike Sickert’s women, however, those in Mathenge’s explosively colourful domestic settings – replete with Kanga textiles and other signifiers of their subjects’ East African heritage – have agency, either contemplating themselves and their own thoughts or observing us, the viewer, with magnificent hauteur.
Wangari Mathenge: UN Women "A Force for Change"
UN Women, the agency of the United Nations dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment, will host the first all-Black, all-women global selling exhibition and auction titled “A Force for Change”, with proceeds benefiting Black women across the world and the participating artists. The exhibition includes 26 works by prominent and emerging female artists of African descent to recognize and elevate awareness of the transformative power of Black women’s art in social justice movements, and to support UN Women’s nascent global Black Women’s Programme. Works by artists Cinthia Sifa Mulanga, Tschabalala Self, Sungi Mlengeya, Wangari Mathenge, Zanele Muholi, and Selly Rabe Kane are included, among many others.
New York Times Style Magazine
How Friendship Helps Us Transcend Ourselves
“The Ascendants XI (Homage to Ecclesiastes Three, One Through Eight)” (2021), made exclusively for T by the Chicago-based artist Wangari Mathenge, who said: “As part of the diaspora, I’m interested in what can ease the sense of displacement. The figures here might long to step out into a different kind of world, but for now they sit in comfortable silence in a shared space they’ve created for themselves
Rooms of Our Own — Art and The Inner Lives of Women
This past week we hit 11C in New York. It’s not exactly spring yet, but after what feels like an incredibly long winter, the slight rise in temperature was enough to get me scouring the internet for exhibitions welcoming masked visitors. I’ve been so cautious and homebound the past few months, and I’ve missed venturing out to see art in real life, up close and personal.