Wangechi Mutu

Histology of the Different Classes of Uterine Tumors

About this artwork

This set of twelve mixed-media works was made early in Mutu’s career, at a point when her practice was focused on collage. Drawing from disparate sources including medical journals, fashion magazines, pornography, and ethnographic texts, Mutu’s way of critiquing these publications is to cut them up and reassemble them for her own means. The collages which make up Histology of the Different Classes of Uterine Tumors are composed on pages taken from a nineteenth-century medical folio illustrating different diseases of the female sexual organs. Layering the drawings with magazine cuttings, torn bits of paper, packing tape, fake fur, and glitter, Mutu has transformed them into faces, ‘turning them into distorted character investigations of the human experience’. When displayed, the collages are to be hung in a specific sequence which replicates the order in which they were made in the artist’s studio. The work’s title is taken from the header at the top of one of the folio sheets.

Published September 2021

  • artist:
    Wangechi Mutu (born 1972)
  • title:
    Histology of the Different Classes of Uterine Tumors
  • date created:
    2004-05
  • materials:
    Mixed media drawing (glitter, ink, fur, collage and other materials on found medical illustration paper)
  • measurements:
    46.00 x 31.00 cm (base material size); 59.10 x 43.50 x 4.40 cm (framed size)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased with assistance from the Heinz Fund and Art Fund 2020
  • accession number:
    GMA 5725
  • gallery:
  • glossary:
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Wangechi Mutu

Wangechi Mutu