If you’re standing outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, there’s one small detail that’s often overlooked in the building’s grand architecture: the four alcoves that crown its entrance way.
These alcoves have been left empty since the museum was built over a century ago, but that’s 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. They’re all draped in spaghettilike garments, while some have pointed fingers, like celestial beings.
They draw from the artist’s 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.
WANGECHI MUTU made history yesterday when her four majestic sculptures were unveiled on the facade of the MET in New York City. It’s the first time ever in the 117 years history of the MET that an installation has been made at the entrance of the MET.
“The Facade Commission: Wangechi Mutu, The NewOnes, will free Us.” don’t just occupy the space, they claim it. Wangechi Mutu, Kenyan born, Yale educated, said in part in a statement of this magnificent work: “The poised, stately figures I have created for the MET facade derive inspiration from my interest in ancient and modern practices that reflect on the relationship between women and power across various traditions….They look as if they are charged with a role and responsibility. They have come to look and bear witness, and to reflect back to us what we are.” #MetWangechiMutu#MetFacade