KIKI SMITH: CHORUS
- Date: May 23 - September 04, 2012
- Sponsor: UBS
- Location: The Last Lot
- Artists: Kiki Smith
Art Production Fund is pleased to present Chorus by Kiki Smith, the third installation at The Last Lot project space on 46th Street and 8th Avenue in New York City. Chorus is made possible with the generous support of UBS.
In Chorus, on view from May 24th through September 4th 2012, Smith will display multicolored stained-glass stars clustered throughout the lot. The free standing sculptures range from 18 inches to six feet in height and are a kaleidoscope of hand-blown, translucent, iridized, modeled, and cathedral glass. The stars evoke the glamorous heyday of Broadway and the Theater District surrounding the installation site. “As the sun shines through and glitters upon the translucent and opaque glass, the stars will contrast with the raw urban lot,” explained Smith.
The rainbow-colored star clusters pay tribute to Josephine Baker, the American-born French burlesque dancer, singer and actress, who epitomized the sensuality and spectacle of the burlesque follies of the 1920ʼs. The first African American female to star in a major motion picture, and the quintessential entertainer of that time, Baker is also known for her support of the Civil Rights Movement and for her family of adopted children from all over the world, whom she called “The Rainbow Tribe.” Baker served as a muse to several influential artists based in Paris at the time such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Pablo Picasso. Smith, whose work often explores feminist themes through depictions of the female body and women from history and mythology, is drawn to the complexity of Bakerʼs career as a performer/showgirl, and a social and political activist.
Smith has worked extensively with stained glass. Her use of glass as a medium began at the onset of her career in the mid 1980ʼs--a time when glasswork was dismissed as craft. Smith draws inspiration from the history of decorative objects and the tradition of biblical storytelling through the form of stained glass in architecture.
The Last Lot is a generous short-term donation to Art Production Fund from The Shubert Organization, and is part of the Times Square Allianceʼs public art program that works to bring cutting-edge art to Times Square (www.timessquarenyc.org). "Kiki Smith is a visionary of our time, and it is an honor for us to work with her on a major public artwork," said Art Production Fund Co-Founders Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen. "We are longtime admirers of her work and inviting her to create a site-specific piece for the highly trafficked site of the Last Lot is a tremendous opportunity for Art Production Fund."
Kiki Smith (b.1954 Nuremberg, Germany) is an artist of international prominence whose career has spanned over three decades. Smithʼs multidisciplinary practice includes sculpture, drawing, printmaking, video and photography, among other techniques. Her work explores the human condition and spiritual aspects of human nature. In 2010, Smith installed over thirty stained-glass panels for the exhibition “Lodestar” at The Pace Gallery. The Museum at Eldridge Street unveiled Smithʼs collaboration with architect Deborah Gans in 2010, a monumental new rose window for the historic Eldridge St. Synagogue. Smith has held recent solo exhibitions at Galerie Lelong, Paris (2012); The Neuberger Museum, Purchase, NY (2012);The Brooklyn Museum (2010); Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (2007); The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2006-7); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2005-6); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2003-4).
Art Production Fund (APF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to producing ambitious public art projects, reaching new audiences and expanding awareness through contemporary art. Recent projects include: SHOW, Vanessa Beecroft, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1998; PLAN B, Rudolf Stingel summer 2004, Grand Central's Vanderbilt Hall and The Walker Art Center; Prada Marfa, Elmgreen & Dragset, Valentine, TX, 2005, permanent; Greeting Card, Aaron Young, Park Avenue Armory, 2007; Electric Fountain, Noble & Webster, Rockefeller Plaza, 2008. The Ghosts, Sue de Beer, Park Avenue Armory, New York City, 2011; After Hours: Murals on The Bowery, New York City, 2011; David Brooks, Desert Rooftops, NYC, 2011; Josephine Meckseper, Manhattan Oil Project, NYC, 2011. Co-Founders: Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen; Director: Casey Fremont Crowe.
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