Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kiki Smith tapestries at Neuberger Museum

Tapestries by Kiki Smith, published by Magnolia Editions, at Neuberger Museum; photo c/o Artnet

As an artist uniquely tuned in to surface, and one whose practice revels in the possibilities of printmaking and multiples, it should come as no surprise that Kiki Smith has been working with Donald Farnsworth of Magnolia Editions for the past year on a suite of three tapestry editions.

The three tapestries -- titled Sky, Earth, and Underground -- can currently be seen at the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York, as part of Smith’s exhibition, "Visionary Sugar." More photos and information about the show are available here.

Kiki Smith creates a hand-painted texture at Magnolia Editions

Smith is no stranger to textiles: she has been printing and painting on fabric since the early 1980s, including small editions of printed scarves. While her line and drawing style are unmistakable, Smith's works in various sculptural and print media often employ sophisticated technologies in tandem with handwork. As Wendy Weitman writes in Kiki Smith: Prints, books & things, "Smith thrives on collaboration... Sculpture and printmaking share this collaborative attribute, each often requiring specialized artisans to achieve the finished object. Not surprisingly, Smith excels at both."

Ingredients of a Kiki Smith tapestry in progress

The tapestries have gone through dozens of steps and versions on their way to completion, from large collaged paper drawings to digital files; prints to reprints to reprints with overpainting and more collaging; painting, weaving, and reweaving until each detail, texture, and color was exactly right.

Kiki Smith and Donald Farnsworth work on a tapestry's digital weave file at Magnolia Editions

For those in the Purchase, NY area, don't miss "The three worlds: Earth/Sky/Underworld and the work of Kiki Smith" with Purchase College lecturer Suzanne Ironbiter on Friday March 23 at 7:15 pm. The artist will attend and will be available for a Q&A after the presentation.

More info on Kiki Smith's exhibition at the Neuberger Museum

Kiki Smith tapestries at Artnet

More tapestries from Magnolia Editions