Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Museum Visit: Kiki Smith "Sojourn"

I took the subway out to Brooklyn on Saturday, to see the Kiki Smith show at the Brooklyn Museum. Smith is one of my favorite artists. I've always been fascinated with the way she can
transform simple content into powerful statements, like she does in this psychologically acute exhibition.

Smith's site-specific installation is called Sojourn. The exhibition is presented in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. One of Smith's major themes is women's role in society. Sojourn is concerned with a woman's cycle of life.

The installation was inspired by an 18th century embroidery that depicts a woman engaged in a creative work, rather than a scene of marriage or motherhood.

The exhibition includes absolutely beautiful, large drawings of women, drawn on a special, thin rice paper. They are unframed and seem to float on the wall.

There are sculptures, drawings and collages, of birds with strips over them that remind you of exploding cages.

In an adjoining room, there is an installation of antique artifacts and baby clothes that reveal the stark lives of women in the 18th century.

The exhibition will run until September 12, 2010. Admission is $10. Use your Metrocard to get 2-for-1 admission through May 2.

I hope you will note the beautiful horizontal sweep of new entrance to the Brooklyn Museum designed by James Polshek Architects.

Artbus Project: Create a Story Book about children.

Here is a project you can try with your child, inspired by the Kiki Smith installation:

Write a story about you and your friends. What do you like to do? What are the games you play? Illustrate your book with some pictures of children you find in magazines, or take some photos of your own. You can do a series of pages and bind them into a little book.

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