Peters Projects is pleased to present Woven Tales, a solo exhibition of tapestries by Kiki Smith opening Friday, May 13th, 2016 with an opening reception from 5-7 pm. The eleven 10 foot tall tapestries are a visual story. The tapestries were made with Magnolia Editions’ jacquard loom in their Oakland studio and years of dialogue between the studio and the artist. Peters Projects will be the first to display all eleven of Kiki Smith’s tapestries in one exhibition.
Peters Projects will be hosting an Artist Talk with Kiki Smith and the founders of Magnolia Editions, Donald & Era Farnsworth on Saturday, May 14th, 11 am at Peters Projects.
Essay Excerpt by Nick Stone: A walk in the world: Kiki Smith’s tapestries with Magnolia Editions
Kiki Smith works at the scale of the tapestry, creating large collages on paper from cutout drawings, photolithographs, and various textural elements. The collages are sent to Magnolia Editions, photographed, printed at scale and sent back to Smith for more handwork and collaging; this cycle continues (often for months) until the design is ready to be translated into a digital weave file and sent to an electronic, double-headed Jacquard loom for proofing as a textile.
"It's the way that I work," she told me from her studio in New York last summer, "making sculptures, too, I do the exact same thing: I make drawings, and from the drawings I make rubber stamps; from the rubber stamps I make impressions in clay, then waxes, and then sculptures. It's a transformation, moving from one way of generating an image to another, which makes a hybrid." Smith's choice to compose her tapestries at scale rather than enlarging smaller images is crucial to their impact. To work large is "to emphasize the holiness of it," she explains: "historically, these things were made to blanket walls… They're blanketing space. In mosques you have the kilims that are hundreds of years old sitting on top of each other for prayer, and there's that relationship between cloth and life and protection." …