Off view

American, b. 1954
hudson river, 2020
Polyester silk flag on steel pole
25 ft. high (762 cm)
Flag 7 ft. 6 in. x 10 ft. (228.6 x 304.8 cm)
Courtesy of the Artist and Pace Gallery, New York
Kiki Smith took the sunset photograph that graces hudson river while riding an early-evening Amtrak train north along the bank of the river, leaving New York City for her home and studio in the Hudson Valley. The movement and change of a flag caught in the wind is of interest to Smith, who was looking for “a way to make sculpture that had qualities, but no inherent form…I would like it if it just floated—if I could float fabric in the middle of the air.” Some of the first sculptures Kiki Smith made were hand-painted and sewn kites.

hudson river now soars overhead within views of Storm King Mountain and the Hudson Highlands, standing in contrast and conversation with Storm King’s ever-shifting landscape. In Smith’s words, “If you look out the window and see the trees, that’s where the life is. Indoors, you rarely see life emanating, but if you go outside life is emanating everywhere. Sometimes as an artist one tries to catch what is alive, or make something that holds some properties of that life, but vibrant life is right outside.”