Photograph by James Ewing. Courtesy of Art Production Fund.
May 24 – September 4, 2012
46th Street and 8th Avenue
Art Production Fund is pleased to present Chorus by Kiki Smith, the third installation at The Last Lot project space on 46th Street and 8th Avenue in New York City. Chorus is made possible with the generous support of UBS.
Kiki Smith's Chorus displays multicolored stained-glass stars clustered throughout the lot. The free standing sculptures range from 18 inches to six feet in height and are a kaleidoscope of hand-blown, translucent, iridized, modeled, and cathedral glass. The stars evoke the glamorous heyday of Broadway and the Theater District surrounding the installation site. “As the sun shines through and glitters upon the translucent and opaque glass, the stars will contrast with the raw urban lot,” explained Smith.
The rainbow-colored star clusters pay tribute to Josephine Baker, the American-born French burlesque dancer, singer and actress, who epitomized the sensuality and spectacle of the burlesque follies of the 1920’s. The first African American female to star in a major motion picture, and the quintessential entertainer of that time, Baker is also known for her support of the Civil Rights Movement and for her family of adopted children from all over the world, whom she called “The Rainbow Tribe.” Baker served as a muse to several influential artists based in Paris at the time such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Pablo Picasso. Smith, whose work often explores feminist themes through depictions of the female body and women from history and mythology, is drawn to the complexity of Baker’s career as an erotic and primitivist performer/showgirl, and a social and political activist.
Smith has worked extensively with stained glass. Her use of glass as a medium began at the onset of her career in the mid 1980’s--a time when glasswork was dismissed as craft. Smith draws inspiration from the history of decorative objects and the tradition of biblical storytelling through the form of stained glass in architecture.
The Last Lot is a generous short-term donation to Art Production Fund from The Shubert Organization, and is part of the Times Square Alliance’s public art program that works to bring cutting-edge art to Times Square.
Art Production Fund (APF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to producing ambitious public art projects, reaching new audiences and expanding awareness through contemporary art. Recent projects include: SHOW, Vanessa Beecroft, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1998; PLAN B, Rudolf Stingel summer 2004, Grand Central's Vanderbilt Hall and The Walker Art Center; Prada Marfa, Elmgreen & Dragset, Valentine, TX, 2005, permanent; Greeting Card, Aaron Young, Park Avenue Armory, 2007; Electric Fountain, Noble & Webster, Rockefeller Plaza, 2008. The Ghosts, Sue de Beer, Park Avenue Armory, New York City, 2011; After Hours: Murals on The Bowery, New York City, 2011; David Brooks, Desert Rooftops, NYC, 2011; Josephine Meckseper, Manhattan Oil Project, NYC, 2011. Co-Founders: Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen; Director: Casey Fremont Crowe.
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