The New Social Environment#334

25 Years of the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies

Artists Sanford Biggers, Shahzia Sikander, Kiki Smith, Sarah Sze, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Tomas Vu join Lilly Wei for a conversation


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Artists Sanford Biggers, Shahzia Sikander, Kiki Smith, Sarah Sze, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Tomas Vu join Lilly Wei for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Noa Mendoza.

In this talk

To learn more about the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies at Columbia University, visit their website » 

To learn about LeRoy Neiman, visit the foundation’s website »

Sanford Biggers

Sanford Biggers
Photo by Matthew Morrocco
New York based artist Sanford Biggers makes work that is an interplay of narrative, perspective, and history that speaks to current social, political, and economic happenings while also examining the contexts that bore them. His diverse practice positions him as a collaborator with the past through explorations of often overlooked cultural and political narratives from American history. His recent series Chimeras creates hybridized forms that transpose, combine, and juxtapose classical and historical subjects to create alternative meanings and produce what he calls “future ethnographies.” As creative director and keyboardist, he fronts Moon Medicin, a multimedia concept band that straddles visual art and music performances.

Shahzia Sikander

Shahzia Sikander, portrait drawing
Portrait drawing of Shahzia Sikander by Phong Bui
Born in Lahore, Pakistan, Shahzia Sikander underwent rigorous training under master miniaturist Bashir Ahmed. She subsequently became the first artist from the Miniature Painting Department at the NCA to challenge the medium’s technical and aesthetic framework. Shahzia Sikander’s practice takes classical Indo-Persian miniature painting as its point of departure and challenges the strict formal tropes of the genre by experimenting with scale and various forms of new media. Informed by South Asian, American, Feminist and Muslim perspectives, Sikander has developed a unique, critically charged approach to this time-honored medium—employing its continuous capacity for reinvention to interrogate ideas of language, trade and empire, and migration.

Kiki Smith

A Photo of Kiki Smith
Artist Kiki Smith has been known since the 1980s for her multidisciplinary work that explores embodiment and the natural world. She uses a broad variety of materials to continuously expand and evolve a body of work that includes sculpture, printmaking, photography, drawing, and textiles. Smith has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions worldwide including over 25 museum exhibitions. Her work has been featured at five Venice Biennales, including the 2017 edition. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2017 was awarded the title of Honorary Royal Academician by the Royal Academy of Arts, London. She is an adjunct professor at NYU and Columbia University.

Sarah Sze

A Photo of Sarah Sze
Photo by Ed Alcock
Artist Sarah Sze makes work that strives to navigate and model the ceaseless proliferation of information and objects in contemporary life. Incorporating elements of painting, architecture, and installation within her sculpture, Sze investigates the value we place on objects and explores how objects ascribe meaning to the places and times we inhabit. Like the scientific instruments of measurement they often reference, Sze’s sculptures attempt to quantify and organize the universe, ascribing a fragile, personal system of order. In 2013, Sze represented the United States at the 55th Venice Biennale with a solo pavilion presentation entitled Triple Point.

Rirkrit Tiravanija

Photo of Rirkrit Tiravanija
Photo by Anette Aurell
The work of Rirkrit Tiravanija has not stopped questioning the format of artworks and the exhibition system. A mix of performance, sculpture, installation, and more, with Tiravanija, the artistic space transforms into a place of social interaction. Frequently immaterial, his work invents new connections in a world based on reciprocity, conviviality, and hospitality. Whether transforming art centers and galleries into banquets, printing workshops, or pirate radio stations, the artist enjoys overcoming the usual spatial and temporal limitations of the “white cube.” Tiravanija has been granted with numerous awards including the Hugo Boss Prize from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship, among many others.

Tomas Vu

A Photo of Tomas Vu
Artist Tomas Vu has been a professor at Columbia University School of the Arts since 1996 and was appointed the LeRoy Neiman Professor of Visual Arts in 2000. In 1996, Vu helped to found the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies. Since its inception, he has served as Director/Artistic Director of the Neiman center. Vu has exhibited nationally and internationally and has had solo museum shows in Japan, Italy, China, and Vietnam. In collaboration with Rirkrit Tiravanija as part of their series Green Go Home, Vu received a solo exhibition at Vargas Museum, Manila, in the fall of 2017. Vu is also the curator of the traveling group exhibition DRAW, which has had iterations in China, Serbia, Germany, Cuba, and the U.S.

Lilly Wei

A Photo of Lilly Wei
New York-based independent curator, writer, journalist and critic Lilly Wei writes on global contemporary art and emerging art and artists, reporting frequently on international exhibitions and biennials. She has written for dozens of publications here and abroad and is a longtime contributor to Art in America and a contributing editor at ARTnews. She is the author of numerous artists’ catalogues and monographs and has curated exhibitions in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Wei sits on the board of several non-profit art institutions and organizations including AICA/USA (the International Association of Art Critics), Bowery Arts & Sciences, and Art Omi International. She is a fellow and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the CUE Foundation.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Noa Mendoza reading.

Noa Mendoza

Photo of Noa Mendoza.
Writer and translator Noa Mendoza is based in Brooklyn. Their first chapbook of poetry and experimental translation, fantasy radio/radio fantasmal, is forthcoming through Wendy’s Subway.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.