Otherworlds: Nancy Spero and Kiki Smith.

Bird, Jon (2003) Otherworlds: Nancy Spero and Kiki Smith. [Show/Exhibition]


This exhibition and book represent a single, braided research outcome, made possible by an AHRC grant.

The project explored the thematic, conceptual and formal correspondences between two New York-based, American feminist artists, of different generations but sharing a visual language founded upon the expressivity of the female body, the interweaving of past and present through myth, fantasy, scripture, and memory, as well as a belief in the 'decorative' as a shifting and unstable boundary between the aesthetic and the carnivalesque, across all cultures and historical epochs.

The exhibition includes wall texts and panels, vitrines displaying documentary material, a video with both artists discussing their work in their studios in New York and an interview with myself about the origins and development of the project. A leaflet providing a ‘Glossary of Terms' further clarified and expanded upon the works displayed. An educational programme, including a series of illustrated talks and an international conference focusing on feminism and contemporary art practice, also accompanied the exhibition. My documentation of the exhibition includes a copy of Andrew Hodson's film on the show. Further documentary materials are available on the department's website; http://www.visual-culture.com/project/otherworlds/front_page.

The book, which I edited, also includes my two essays: 1) ‘Imagining Otherworlds: Connection and Difference in the Art of Nancy Spero and Kiki Smith' (pp13 – 48), and 2) ‘Present Imperfect: Word and Image in Nancy Spero's “Scrolls” of the 1970s' (pp113 – 136). The latter explores Spero's connection to the Conceptual Art of the period. in editing this work, I also commissioned four further essays exploring various aspects of the artistic practice of Spero and Smith. I also compiled a selected bibliography and illustrated exhibition history for both artists. The project overall was extensively reviewed in the academic and broadsheet press, internationally.

Venue Details

  1. Otherworlds: Nancy Spero and Kiki Smith
    • Location: Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead
    • Dates: 2003

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > Visual Culture and Curating cluster
Item ID: 700
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2008 14:56
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:12
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/700

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