Kenyan, b. 1972
Kobe, 2022
72 x 68 x 46 in. (182.9 x 172.7 x 116.8 cm)
Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery 
Photo by David Regen
These outsized bronzes are based on basket forms used by farmers and fishermen, and mostly made by women, reimagined in a material associated with historical monuments and sculpture traditions. As Mutu envisions them, the giant quotidian items have the potential to hold beautiful, mythical, and even menacing contents.  

The vessels and creatures found inside are linked by formal echoes between the handmade braided textures of the palm frond baskets and the naturally occurring patterns of the snake scales and tortoise shells. For Mutu, an artist’s hand is essential for understanding and making visible such connections between humans and nature.

Mutu's mythical objects take on a distinctive life in Storm King’s natural setting, which lends them plausibility as they in turn infuse the landscape with a sense of wonderment.