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Kiki Smith (American, born Germany 1954)


page: 9 11/16 x 9 11/16" (24.6 cm); unfolded: 19 1/4 x 126 1/4" (48.9 x 320.7 cm)
LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies, Columbia University, New York
LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies, Columbia University, New York
Credit Line:
Mary Ellen Meehan Fund
MoMA Number:
© 2015 Kiki Smith
Audio Program excerpt

Kiki Smith: Prints, Books & Things

, December 5, 2003–March 8, 2004

Narrator: As more and more artists in the late 1980s and early 1990s began to address themes of the body, Smith's interests turned to the outside world: birds, animals, the cosmos, and humanity's relationship to them.

In this work, Kiki Smith explores the natural world on a cosmic scale while also making reference to the cycles of the female body. Tidal is a book showing the thirteen full moons of the year. Beneath and attached to it is an undulating piece of paper printed with panoramic photos of ocean waves, pulled by lunar gravity. She produced the piece in the printmaking workshop at Columbia University enlisting the university's telescope for the project.

Smith was briefly a student of film, and Curator Wendy Weitman feels that Tidal is almost cinematic in its progression of frames. It is another example of Smith's love of folding and her sensitivity to paper. But Smith's wide-ranging influences also include Medieval manuscripts.

Curator, Wendy Weitman: She loves Medieval and early Renaissance books, and they had to fold out to make these long images. She's a great museum-goer, a constant museum-goer and extremely knowledgeable about the art of all times and all countries of all types.

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