Kiki Smith: Prints, Books, and Things

Book of accordion-folded photogravure on mold-made Hahnemuhle paper and attached photolilthograph on handmade Japanese paper  
 Page: 9 11/16 x 9 11/16" (24.3 x 24.3 cm); unfolded: 19 1/4" x 10' 6 1/4" (48.9 cm x 320.7 cm)  
 Published and printer: The LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies, Columbia University, New York  
 Edition: 39  
 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Mary Ellen Meehan Fund, 1999  
 ©Kiki Smith

Kiki Smith. Tidal. 1998

Photogravure, 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). Mary Ellen Meehan Fund. © 2018 Kiki Smith

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.

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