Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth acquires a sculpture by Wangechi Mutu

The Seated III The NewOnes, will free Us courtesy Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Director Marla Price has announced the acquisition of a significant work by Wangechi Mutu, The Seated III, 2019.

The large sculpture of a seated female figure entwined in bronze coils will become part of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth’s permanent collection.

The new work went on display in one of the Modern’s first-floor pavilion galleries beginning Saturday, Dec. 19.

Mutu was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, and now divides her time between there and Brooklyn. She created The Seated III as part of a four-sculpture commission for the façade of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art for the exhibition The New Ones, will free Us.

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The work and its mirror image, The Seated I, occupied niches facing Fifth Avenue, along with another mirrored pair, The Seated II and The Seated IV, the Fort Worth museum said in a news release.

“Wangechi Mutu’s recent group of four bronze female figures is exciting and powerful, and we are honored to add one of them to our permanent collection,” Price said.

“Mutu’s The Seated III will change the face of the Modern. Like a divine presence presiding over the pond, this bronze goddess will shine on all who enter the museum, exuding a calm strength,” said Senior Curator Andrea Karnes.

The artist’s interest in caryatids – a sculpted female figure that also serves as a pillar, column, or other supportive architectural element – is centered around the carved bodies of strong women that are incorporated into many traditions of classical African sculpture.

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The caryatids of African sculpture predate the classical Greek and Roman architectural figures, which are essentially anthropomorphic columns, the museum said.

Mutu rewrites the role of the caryatid. The Seated III bears only her own weight and is unattached to the building or any structure around her.

She is serene and regal, and her calm extends to her fingers and her expression, which is that of a woman in her rightful place, the museum said.

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
3200 Darnell Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

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