Join us for an unforgettable evening of music, poetry and conversation featuring the seminal American artist Patti Smith, moderated by USC Annenberg professor Josh Kun.
A poet, singer, songwriter, photographer and fine artist, Patti Smith has produced a body of work whose influence branches out through generations, across disciplines and around the world. Emerging in the nascent cultural hotbed of mid-1970s New York City, Smith forged a reputation as one of the decade’s first visionary artists, merging poetry and rock in vital new ways. Her 1975 debut album, Horses, is routinely ranked as one of the greatest albums of all time. In 2007, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2010, she won the National Book Award for Nonfiction for Just Kids, a best-selling memoir about her early days in New York when she met and made art with her friend Robert Mapplethorpe. In 2011, Smith was listed amongst TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world and Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest artists.
Patti Smith and her band released eight studio albums on Arista Records from 1975 to 2002: Horses, Radio Ethiopia, Easter, Wave, Dream of Life, Gone Again, Peace and Noise and Gung Ho. In 2004, on Columbia, she released trampin’, a critically acclaimed album whose varied subject matter includes motherhood and the preemptive strike on Iraq. Her 2007 release, Twelve, a collection of cover songs, was hailed by many as the best of the year. In 2010, Smith received the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ Founders Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Smith’s poetry collections include Auguries of Innocence. Additional books include Babel, Early Work, The Coral Sea and Complete. As a fine artist, Smith has exhibited at various galleries and museums. Her 2002 exhibition, Strange Messenger, containing drawings, silkscreens and photos from 1967 to 2002, showed at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh before traveling throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. A solo exhibition of drawings and photographs showed at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris. In 2005, the French Ministry of Culture awarded her the prestigious title of Commandeur of Arts and Letters. Smith has honorary doctorate degrees from the Art Institute of Chicago, Rowan University and Pratt Institute.
Photo: Patti Smith, 2007 © Edward Mapplethorpe
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