Kiki Smith at the Pace Editions workshop.
Kiki Smith selected to participate in the 57th Venice Biennale
Saturday, May 13, 2017 - Sunday, November 26, 2017

Kiki Smith was one of 120 artists selected to participate in the 57th Venice Biennale, on view May 13-November 26, 2017. 51 countries are represented in this edition, “Viva Arte Viva,” curated by Christine Macel.

“The role, the voice, and the responsibility of the artist are more crucial than ever before within the framework of contemporary debates. It is in and through these individual initiatives that the world of tomorrow takes shape, which though surely uncertain, is often best intuited by artists than others," says Marcel.

Click link in right column for a full list of participating artists and more information on the Venice Biennale.

Shahzia Sikander's glass mosaic in Princeton University's Louis A. Simpson International Building.
Shahzia Sikander's Monumental Glass Mosaic for Princeton University

Princeton University commissioned esteemed artist and Pace Prints collaborator Shahazia Sikander for two permanent, site-specific works: a glass painting for 20 Washington Road, the new Economics building, and a monumental glass mosaic for the atrium of its newly renovated Louis A. Simpson International Building. From Lisa Arcomano, Manager of Campus Collections at Princeton:

A spectacular, sprawling sixty-six-foot mosaic and a twenty-five-foot luminous multilayered glass painting by the acclaimed Pakistani-American artist Shahzia Sikander will join the Museum’s collections this fall. The two site-specific works will be permanently installed at the newly renovated 20 Washington Road, the former Frick Chemistry Laboratory and now the new home to the Economics Department and the Louis A. Simpson International Building at Princeton. Overlooking the building’s large open-lit common areas—the glass painting in the Economics Forum and the mosaic in the International Atrium—the works are Sikander’s first foray into glass.

Multivalent and interdisciplinary, Sikander’s work at Princeton will offer a lens to a practice built on critical thinking, creativity, and an inventive collabo-ration between form and meaning. “I have built my entire understanding of being an artist on a narrative that continues to investigate discourse styles, verbal and poetic language, migration patterns, cultural quarantine, interaction, and ultimately human identity,” states the artist.

One of Sikander’s points of departure for the commission was an encounter with the Princeton University Library’s late sixteenth-century Peck Shahnama during the Museum’s exhibition Princeton’s Great Persian Book of Kings. The manuscript is one of the finest intact Shahnamas in the United States and an archetype of the epic poem by the tenth-century Persian poet Firdausi. History and storytelling feature prominently in Sikander’s work, in which she digs into literary and visual canons across the proverbial East-West divide. Her diverse practice investigates the blurred boundaries between fiction and nonfiction, storytelling and history writing, calling into question issues around redaction, perception of authority, and independence.

Installation view of Dan Walsh’s 2017 solo exhibition courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery
Reviews: Dan Walsh at Paula Cooper Gallery

Dan Walsh's most recent solo exhibition at Paula Cooper Gallery (on view January 5 through February 4, 2017) garnered favorable reviews in ARTnews and on Art Critical.

In her review for artcritical.com, "The Hermetic and the Everyday: Dan Walsh at Paula Cooper," Marjorie Welish poses the question, "Can technical doggedness produce compelling art?" In the text that follows, Welish confirms that in the case of Dan Walsh, the answer is a resounding "yes."

In "Meditative Lines and a Good Egg," writer Andy Battaglia discusses Walsh's newest works based on permutations of Walsh's signature repeating lozenge-shaped form, as well as two large-scale floor sculptures and artist books. “I call myself a cheating Sol LeWitt," Walsh notes in the article, "I’m making judgement calls as I go.”

To read the full articles, see links in right column.

"Portrait of the Artist" (detail) on the cover of RISD XYZ.
Shahzia Sikander's "Portrait of the Artist" on the cover of RISD XYZ

Pace Prints collaborator and Rhode Island School of Design alum Shahzia Sikander was featured on the Winter 2017 issue of the school's alumni magazine RISD XYZ. The cover image is a detail taken from Sikander's portfolio of four etchings, Portrait of the Artist, published by Pace Editions, Inc.

In the article, Sikander discusses the mercurial nature of identity, the range of cultural influences she experienced as a child and through educational institutions, the conflicting experience of living in Pakistan under a military regime, and her personal onus to explain Pakistani and Muslim heritage both as an artist and parent. Sikander also calls for greater representation of the Muslim-American experience, emphasizing its inherent plurality, by way of children's books that celebrate a Muslim child’s heritage, family, culture and tradition and museums for Islamic art. Sikander also shares powerful words for artists who are grappling with the results of the 2016 presidential election:

"Now, the incendiary anti-Muslim rhetoric spreading in certain parts of the US is dangerous and suffocating. It robs all of us of our innate humanity and empathy. However, while I am deeply troubled and disheartened by the anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-earth and pro-bigotry sentiments that emerged from the 2016 presidential election here in the US, I also feel newly energized to return to the studio. This is a moment when I am most charged as an artist—when I feel the urgency and clarity to speak out. In so many ways, making art is never about seeking stability in uncertain times; it is about confronting uncertainty."

The Winter 2017 issue of RISD XYZ will be available online in January.

Photo courtesy The Art Newspaper
Jenny Holzer creates text piece for New York Aids Memorial

Jenny Holzer has created a text-based piece for the New York City Aids memorial, now open to the public at St. Vincent's Triangle park on West 12th Street and 7th Avenue. The piece excerpts Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself," contextualized here in commemoration of the men, women and children who lost their lives to AIDS. Urban planners Christopher Tepper and Paul Kelterborn initiated the campaign for the monument in 2011 and the final installation incorporates an 18-foot high canopy structure designed by the architecture studio ai.

In conversation with The Art Newspaper in 2015, Holzer said, "Excerpts from 'Song of Myself' by Walt Whitman [first published in 1855] are the text on the granite paving stones. The Whitman poem is a beauty from a man in full and glad possession of his body."

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