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A woman reclined on a wide sofa interrupts a moment of quiet reflection to gaze up at the viewer. Twin figures, hands poised, delicately slice food on invisible plates with focused attention.  The subjects of Wangari Mathenge’s paintings, frequently women, are in no particular rush. They lounge, they wait, they linger, they connect. With seemingly little effort, they manage to extricate themselves from the bustling world to carve out private spaces. Once there, they assert themselves by holding still and stopping time. But make no mistake, the aura of quiet that surrounds Mathenge’s women should not be mistaken for passivity. These women are self-possessed, even defiant. Look at their posture. Bending forward with elbows on knees or leaning back, these women take up space. Their expressions seem to say, “Here I am. I have nothing to prove.”