Exhibition Curator discusses Kiki Smith’s photographic work at Block Museum on April 27
The new exhibition at the Block Museum — I Myself Have Seen It: Photography and Kiki Smith — grew out of the artist’s twenty-year working relationship with Elizabeth Brown, chief curator of the Henry Art Gallery.
Brown will provide unique insights into the provocative artist’s acclaimed and diverse body of work during two programs on Wednesday, April 27 at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, located at 40 Arts Circle Drive on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus.
At 9:30 am Brown leads an exclusive tour of I Myself Have Seen It, discussing Smith’s art and the process of working with her to create the exhibition. Later that day at 5:30 pm, Brown will deliver a lecture examining how Smith uses photography to inform, develop, and interpret her art and as a means of creative expression in itself.
The evening lecture is free and open to the public; reservations are not required for this program.
Kiki Smith (American, born 1954 in Germany) has explored a variety of themes in her work: the fragility (both psychological and physical) of the body, the deconstruction of fairy tales and myths, the transition from childhood to adult sexuality, the personalities of animals and the persistent forces of natures, and the relationship of the art object to the artist and the viewer.
Although she may be best known for her sculpture, prints, and drawings, Smith has employed photography as an element in her art for more than three decades, using it as a tool, as a means of personal expression, and as a way to construct meanings. I Myself Have Seen It is the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s photographic work. Featuring more than 200 objects—from photography and sculpture to prints and video—the exhibition illuminates the way Smith thinks and articulates her ideas visually, through the camera.
Over a career spanning three decades, Elizabeth Brown, chief curator of the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, has organized scores of exhibitions, including Lari Pittman Drawings, WOW: The Work of Work, and, in 1994, Kiki Smith: Sojourn in Santa Barbara, the first survey of Smith’s work on the West Coast.
KIKI SMITH AT THE BLOCK
Kiki Smith herself will participate in a conversation at the Block Museum with Madeline Grynsztejn, the Pritzker Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, at 7 pm on Thursday, May 12. On Saturday, May 21 at 2 pm, Block Cinema will screen the 2006 documentary Kiki Smith: Squatting the Palace, which follows the artist from her New York City studio to a gallery in Venice, Italy, as she creates work and installs a solo exhibition. Admission to both of these programs is free.
The exhibition I Myself Have Seen It: Photography and Kiki Smith continues at the Block Museum through August 14. Admission to the exhibition is free.
Visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu or call 847.491.4000 for more information.
I Myself Have Seen It: Photography and Kiki Smith was curated for the Henry Art Gallery by Chief Curator Elizabeth Brown with support from Steven Johnson and Walter Sudol, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Paul G. Allen Foundation, and ArtsFund.
Feature image: Kiki Smith, Untitled (Sleeping Witch), 2000, Chromogenic (Ektacolor) color print. © Kiki Smith, courtesy The Pace Gallery.