Kristen Hileman, independent curator and formerly the head of the Baltimore Museum of Art’s contemporary department

Independent Curator Kristen Hileman will discuss Jo Smail: Flying with Remnant Wings, an exhibition that opened at The Baltimore Museum of Art in mid-March and currently remains closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions. Living in Baltimore since 1985, Smail (b. 1943, Durban, South Africa) is a painter who uses a poignant and often eccentric language of abstract form and color to convey the strangeness, vulnerability, and complicated beauty of contemporary life.

Smail and Hileman worked on their first show together in the late 1990s, shortly after a fire had consumed Smail’s studio and decades’ worth of her paintings. The current retrospective reflects the ongoing relationship between the Baltimore-based artist and the curator and features works that emerged after the studio fire, as well as drawings and paintings made during Smail’s recovery from a stroke in 2000. Also represented are more recent pieces that address Smail’s relationship to her native South Africa and its system of apartheid including a series of collaborations with fellow South African William Kentridge and paintings that incorporate clippings from mid-20th century South African newspapers. In her art, as in her life, Smail confronts tragedies and contradictions and transforms them into powerful meditations on the human capacity to overcome and create anew.

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Add to Calendar 20200616 America/New_York WEBINAR: Kristen Hileman, “Jo Smail: Flying with Remnant Wings”