Kiki Smith's NOCTUA, CORVUS, HYDRA, FILIS Now on View at New York Live Arts Gallery
The Ford Foundation Live Gallery at New York Live Arts currently features Noctua, Corvus, Hydra, Filis, a commissioned, site-specific work by celebrated artist Kiki Smith. The monumental mural occupies a prominent wall in the New York Live Arts lobby, and is also visible from the street.
Noctua, Corvus, Hydra, Filis is a collage made from ink on Nepal paper with mica and methylcellulose glue. The mural features Hydra, the water snake (the largest constellation in the sky), with Corvus, the crow, Noctua, the owl, and Filis, the cat. The work brings whimsical visualizations to constellations that brighten the dark night sky.
"The snake is of the earth and the crow is of the sky; sometimes the snake is hidden, and sometimes the crow is covered by night," said Smith of the work. "Dancers and performers sometimes temporarily alleviate us of the weight of gravity. These images were directly informed by the famous astrological engravings of Jehoshaphat Aspin."
Noctua, Corvus, Hydra, Filis covers the entire south-facing wall of the gallery. Smith designed this work specifically for the Ford Foundation Live Gallery. The width and height of the wall allowEd Smith to scale the mural to a colossal size-it measures more than 31 feet wide and over 10 feet high. The effect is to transform the space and create an immersive environment.
"Dance and visual art have a strongly intertwined history, with visual artists and movement-based artists engaging frequently" said Bill T. Jones, Executive Artistic Director of New York Live Arts and longtime friend of Smith. "The presentation of Noctua, Corvus, Hydra, Filis in the Ford Foundation Live Gallery serves as our recognition of this continued collaborative nature. It is my desire to position New York Live Arts as an institution that inhabits a place in both the visual and performing arts communities, and in doing so, defy categories."
Kiki Smith (1954- born in Nuremberg, Germany) is known for evocative sculptures, drawings and prints. The recurrent subject matter in Smith's work has been the body as a receptacle for knowledge, belief and storytelling. In the 1980s, Smith literally turned the figurative tradition in sculpture inside out, creating objects and drawings based on organs, cellular forms and the human nervous system. This body of work evolved to incorporate animals, domestic objects and narrative tropes from classical mythology and folk tales. Life, death and resurrection are thematic signposts in many of Smith's installations and sculptures.
New York Live Arts is an internationally recognized destination for innovative movement-based artistry offering audiences access to art and artists notable for their conceptual rigor, formal experimentation and active engagement with the social, political and cultural currents of our times. At the center of this identity is Bill T. Jones, Executive Artistic Director, a world-renowned choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer.
We commission, produce and present performances in our 20,000 square foot home, which includes a 184-seat theater and two 1,200 square foot studios that can be combined into one large studio. New York Live Arts serves as home base for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, provides an extensive range of participatory programs for adults and young people and supports the continuing professional development of artists. Our influence extends beyond NYC through our international cultural exchange program that currently places artists in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Kiki Smith's Noctua, Corvus, Hydra, Filis, 2013, Collage, ink, on Nepal paper with mica and methylcellulose glue
31' 8.5" X 10' 4" x. Commissioned by New York Live Arts, Courtesy of Kiki Smith on view at the Ford Foundation Live Gallery is located at New York Live Arts, 219 W 19th Street, New York, NY 10011. Admission: FREE. Hours: Monday - Friday 1 - 9pm | Saturday-Sunday 12 - 8pm. For more information, visit www.newyorklivearts.org.