NARRATOR: This section of the exhibition is devoted to Smith’s images of nature. 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 13 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.
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.