A conversation program with acclaimed artist Kiki Smith and Dr. Alexander Nagel of the Institute of Fine Arts responding to the medieval manuscripts in the current exhibition, Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries, will take place on Thursday, January 17 at 6:30 pm at The Jewish Museum. In Writers & Artists Respond: Kiki Smith and Dr. Alexander Nagel, Smith and Nagel will use their individual artistic and research practices to frame the discussion. =Nagel's most recently published work, Medieval Modern: Art out of Time (2012, Thames and Hudson), will be available for purchase in the Museum's Cooper Shop after the event. This program continues Writers and Artists Respond, a series of thought provoking discussions and performances by artists, musicians and writers in The Jewish Museum's galleries.
Tickets for the January 17 conversation are FREE with Museum admission. A limited number of stools will be provided to attendees on a first come-first served basis. For further information, the public may visit TheJewishMuseum.org/publicprograms.
Kiki Smith. Photo courtesy Kiki Smith Studio and Pace Gallery, 2011
Kiki Smith is an artist of international prominence whose career has spanned over three decades. She is a leading figure among artists addressing philosophical, social, and spiritual aspects of human nature. Her explorations of the human condition, the body, and the realms of spirituality and nature have resulted in works of exceptional power and beauty spanning mediums from sculpture and printmaking to installation and textiles. Recent major projects include Chorus (2012) in Times Square, and a monumental staiNed Glass window for the Eldridge Street Synagogue in New York's Lower East Side, designed in collaboration with architect Deborah Gans (2010). Smith has been the subject of more than 150 solo exhibitions internationally, and her work has been included multiple times in the Whitney Biennial, La Biennale di Firenze and La Biennale di VeneziA. Smith's work is held in more than 50 important public collections internationally. Her many accolades include the Theo Westenberger Women of Excellence Award (2010); Nelson A. Rockefeller Award, Purchase College School of the Arts (2010); Women in the Arts Award, Brooklyn Museum (2009); and the 50th Edward MacDowell Medal (2009). Smith was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, in 2005. In 2006, TIME Magazine named her one of the "TIME 100: The People Who Shape Our World." Kiki Smith lives and works in New York City.
Alexander Nagel is Professor of Fine Arts at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, specializing in Renaissance art and art theory. Previously, he served as Andrew W. Mellon Professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in Washington, D.C. and as Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Toronto. Author of Michelangelo and the Reform of Art, Professor Nagel has published articles in numerous journals, including Artforum, Art Bulletin, The Burlington Magazine, Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics and Cabinet Magazine. In Medieval Modern: Art out of Time, a groundbreaking study offering a radical new reading of art since the Middle Ages, Nagel explores the deep connections between modern and premodern art to reveal the underlying patterns and ideas traversing centuries of artistic practice.
England's Bodleian Library at Oxford University, established by Sir Thomas Bodley in 1602 and now the largest of the University's group of 'Bodleian Libraries', is renowned for its great treasures. Among them is one of the most important collections of medieval Hebrew illuminated manuscripts in the world. The Jewish Museum is presenting Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries through February 3, 2013. This exhibition features over 60 works - Hebrew, Arabic, and Latin manuscripts - the majority of which have never been seen in the United States. Several paintings and printed books are also on view. Included is the splendid Kennicott Bible, the most lavishly illuminated Hebrew Bible to survive from medieval Spain, as well as two works in the hand of Maimonides, one of the most prominent Jewish philosophers and rabbinic authorities. This exhibition is based on Crossing Borders: Hebrew Manuscripts as a Meeting-place of Cultures co-curated by Piet van Boxel and Sabine Arndt for The Bodleian Library. The New York City presentation has been organized by The Jewish Museum's Curator Claudia Nahson.