press release

“No 1 of the five best shows around the country ” The Independent, Dezember 03 BALTIC presents a major exhibition of work by Nancy Spero & Kiki Smith – Otherworlds opens at BALTIC on 13 December 2003. Guest curated by Jon Bird, this exhibition is the first joint presentation of the work of these two eminent American artists forming the largest exhibition of both artists’ works to date. Exhibited across three floors, sculptural and wall-based works are interspersed throughout the gallery spaces and presented to play off each other conceptually and formally. The show presents all Spero’s major works from the eleven panel Hours of the Night (1974) to the thirty-nine panel Azure (2001). These signature-style scrolls combine images and texts with some extending over 200 feet. The exhibition incorporates two decades of key sculptural female figures and some prints by Kiki Smith from Mary Magdalene (1994) to Crescent Moon (2002). The art of Spero and Smith has been formed by the historical conditions of feminism and the Women’s movement in America; both artists work in an essentially figurative style to address issues of the feminine across cultures and mythologies. Fashioning hybrid works of great variety, subtlety, beauty and power, both artists have turned vulnerability into strength, making art that speaks to the universal without idealisation or reduction. The work of both artists examines relationships between the sacred and profane, history and myth and the decorative in art, with colour forming a significant expressive element. The art of Nancy Spero and Kiki Smith represents a carnivalesque exploration and celebration of the feminine, from victimisation to liberation, freedom and desire. Otherworlds is presented at BALTIC from 13 December 2003 – 12 April 2004. Documentation areas alongside the exhibition will provide contextual information including films, video documentation, working materials, preparatory drawings and a range of books and catalogues.•Otherworlds The Art of Nancy Spero & Kiki Smith Notes to Editors BALTIC The Centre for Contemporary Art is one of the largest and most ambitious contemporary art spaces in Europe, situated on the South Bank of the River Tyne, Gateshead in the north of England. BALTIC first opened to the public at 00:01 on 13 July 2002. After just 1 year BALTIC has received more than a million visitors. Nancy Spero was born in 1926, in Cleveland, Ohio. Spero’s innovative language of printed and stamped texts and images explore the variety of human experience and especially the histories and experiences of women, whilst also making comment on and expressing outrage against violence, war and inhumanity. Nancy Spero’s work has been exhibited all over the world with most recent solo shows at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Kunsthalle Zu Kiel, Germany. Spero currently lives and works in New York. Kiki Smith was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1954. Her work over the past 15 years has focused on the human body and its internal functions and fluids, as well as examining the body’s relationship to social, cultural and religious constraints. Kiki Smith has been living and working in New York since 1976 and recent solo shows include Telling Tales, International Center of Photography, New York (2001), Realms, Pace Wildenstein, New York (2002) and Homework, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia (2002-03). Pressetext

OtherWorlds: The Art of Nancy Spero & Kiki Smith
Levels 3, 4 & ground floor art spaces