Kiki Smith's NOCTUA, CORVUS, HYDRA, FILIS Now on View at New York Live Arts Gallery
Ford Foundation Live Gallery, New York Live Arts, Kiki Smith, Noctua, Corvus, Hydra, Filis
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."