Wangechi Mutu’s collage series Histology of the Different Classes of Uterine Tumors has been described as ‘one of the greatest examples of contemporary Black feminist art’.

This is the original work from which an edition of 25 inkjet prints was later published, two of which are now in US museum collections.

Mutu was born in Nairobi, Kenya, where her mother was a nurse and midwife, and her father ran a paper-distribution company. She later studied fine art and anthropology in New York and holds an MFA from Yale University School of Art and Architecture. She currently lives in New York.

Histology of the Different Classes of Uterine Tumors is part of Mutu’s ongoing exploration in her art of racial stereotyping, Western objectification and colonialism with regard to the Black female body.

The 12 collages are composed on pages taken from a 19th-century medical folio illustrating different types of cancer of the uterus. Materials including glitter, fur and pages cut from fashion magazines feature in the collages, in contrast with the often brutal details of disease suggested by the individual titles. These include Uterine Catarrh, Cancer of the Uterus and Cervical Hypertrophy. The overall title of the series is taken from one of the collages.

Histology of the Different Classes of Uterine Tumors has a notable provenance, which includes several years as part of the Saatchi Collection. During this time it was exhibited in the 2006 Royal Academy exhibition ‘USA Today: New American Art from the Saatchi Gallery’.

The series now joins the outstanding collection at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, where it marks an important step in increasing the representation of women artists of colour, as well as being a major acquisition for the gallery in its own right.

Provenance

Susanne Vielmetter Gallery, Los Angeles;Acquired directly from the above by Charles Saatchi, 2005;Contemporary Sale at Phillip’s New York, 16 May 2014;Purchased at the above sale by the Omer Tiroche GalleryOn offer from the Omer Tiroche Gallery, Con




Exhibitions at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

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