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Gallery Artist Nathan Catlin ‘12 Curates Exhibit Featuring Kiki Smith and Mark Dion at Columbia

The group exhibition, Meow! (or 貓), which is currently on display at LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies, features the work of eight artists, including Visual Arts Adjunct Assistant Professor Kiki Smith and Mentor Mark Dion. It is curated by Alumnus and Visual Arts Adjunct Assistant Professor Nathan Catlin ‘12, who is the Master Printer and Studio and Project Manager at LeRoy Neiman Center. Catlin has assisted and collaborated with the artists in the exhibit for seven years, since he was a Visual Arts MFA student in 2011.


Professor Kiki Smith, a German-born artist now based in New York, works primarily in sculpture and printmaking and her work examines the “the human condition and the natural world,” according to Pace Gallery. In 2017, she had two solo exhibitions at Syracuse University Art Galleries in Syracuse, NY and The Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskills, NY. She was also included in the Venice Biennial in 2017 alongside Faculty Member Sarah Sze.


Mark Dion, a Mentor to MFA Visual Arts students, has worked in printmaking and has created large-scale public projects. According to his bio, “Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world…. Appropriating archaeological, field ecology and other scientific methods of collecting, ordering, and exhibiting objects, Dion creates works that question the distinctions between ‘objective’ (‘rational’) scientific methods and ‘subjective’ (‘irrational’) influences.” In October 2017, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, hosted Dion’s first American retrospective.


Other artists in the show include Fia Backström, Anne Craven, Arlene Shechet, John Walker, and the contemporary author Jonathan Safran Foer, who collaborated with Sam Messer. Foer is the author of the novels Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, among other books, and, in 2011, created the visual narrative Tree of Codes. “Tree of Codes was created by slicing out chunks of text from Foer’s favorite novel, The Street of Crocodiles by Polish author Bruno Schulz. The result is a spare, haunting story that appears to hang in negative space on the page,” writes Heather Wagner of Vanity Fair. Some of Foer and Messer’s prints are featured in the show.


Master Printer, Nathan Catlin works in printmaking, painting, sculpture, stained glass, and site-specific murals. At Columbia University, he teaches relief printmaking.


Meow! (or 貓) runs through Friday, March 16th, 2018.