Mimi Smith, an early pioneer in clothing, feminist, and installation art began making sculpture in the form of clothing in 1965 not as garments to be worn but as sculpture, installations and visual objects about woman’s lives. Over the years her art has continued to examine clothing as both form and subject, while also exploring the subjects of women, child abuse, television, war, nuclear issues, the environment, and AIDS. In recent years her work has also focused on illness and aging. In addition to clothing sculpture she has used other mediums from paintings and paper and knotted thread and tape measure drawings, to sound, computers, artists’ books and clocks.
She received a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art in 1963 and an MFA from Rutgers University in 1966. She has been the recipient of grants and awards including an NEA, NYSCA, NYFA, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation and is currently the 2017-2018 Estelle Lebowitz Endowed Visiting Artist at the Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities at Rutgers.
She has exhibited extensively in galleries and museums throughout the United States and internationally in a career spanning 50 years. Her many solo and survey exhibits include the retrospective ‘Steel Wool Politics’ at the ICA Philadelphia. Group shows include ‘Committed To Print’, MoMA; ‘Gloria: Another Look at Feminist Art in the ‘70’s’, at White Columns, Moore College, and RISD Museum; ‘Addressing the Century, 100 Years of Art and Fashion’ at the Haywood Gallery, London, and Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg, Germany; ‘WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution’ at LA MOCA, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, PS 1, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Selected public collections include MoMA, the Fog Museum, RISD Museum, Spencer Museum, Newark Museum, and the Getty Center.
Among the many publications that have written about her work are Artforum, Art in America, Art News, Frieze, Woman’s Art Journal, Time Out, The New York Times, and several books including The Power of Feminist Art, The Pink Glass Swan, Inverted Odysseys, and A Basic History of Western Art, Janson & Janson.
Images of her work can be seen at her website: http://www.mimismith.com
Event co-sponsored by MassArt Fine Arts 2D Department and Alumni Relations.
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