Kenyan American Wangechi Mutu has become the first artist to fill Metropolitan Museum of Arts alcoves with four eye-catching female sculptures
If youre standing outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, theres one small detail thats often overlooked in the buildings grand architecture: the four alcoves that crown its entranceway.
These alcoves have been left empty since the museum was built over a century ago, but thats about to change.
Kenyan American Wangechi Mutu has become the first artist to fill them with four bronze sculptures for a project called The NewOnes, will free Us, which is on view until 12 January.
The sculptures of women here look like confident African queens, staring ahead. One is bald, while another has a lip plate. Theyre all draped in spaghettilike garments, while some have pointed fingers, like celestial beings.
They draw from the artists research in women and power, especially African traditions with adornments that if a woman is wealthy or high ranking, she wears heavier and larger objects.
What do high ranking women in leadership, and leadership women who have wisdom, wear? asks Mutu. I took from these traditions and have elongated, accentuated or heightened them in certain ways so they look and feel like the women who are leaders of that society.