Eighteen Stations revolves around the world of M Train, Smith’s bestselling book released in 2015. M Train chronicles, as Smith describes, “a roadmap to my life,” as told from the seats of the cafés and dwellings she has worked from globally. Reflecting the themes and sensibility of the book, Eighteen Stations is a meditation on the act of artistic creation. It features the artist’s illustrative photographs that accompany the book’s pages, along with works by Smith that speak to art and literature’s potential to offer hope and consolation. The artist will be reading from M Train at the Gallery throughout the run of the exhibition.
Patti Smith (b. 1946) has been represented by Robert Miller Gallery since her joint debut with Robert Mapplethorpe, Film and Stills, opened at its 724 Fifth Avenue location in 1978. Recent solo exhibitions at the Gallery include Veil (2009) and A Pythagorean Traveler (2006).
In 2014 Rockaway Artist Alliance and MoMA PS1 mounted Patti Smith: Resilience of the Dreamer at Fort Tilden, as part of a special project recognizing the ongoing recovery of the Rockaway Peninsula, where the artist has a home.
Smith's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions worldwide including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2013); Detroit Institute of Arts (2012); Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford (2011); Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporaine, Paris (2008); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2003); and The Andy Warhol Museum (2002). Museum collections that hold works by the artist include The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Just Kids, a memoir of the artist's remarkable relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe during the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies, won her the 2010 National Book Award in the nonfiction category.
Her 1975 album Horses established Smith as one of most important musical artists of her generation and was followed by ten releases, including Radio Ethiopia; Easter; Dream of Life; Gone Again, Trampin', and Banga, her latest. She continues to perform throughout the world and in 2007 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2005 she was presented with the prestigious insignia of Commander of the Order of the Arts and Letters, an esteemed French cultural honor. In 2011, Smith won the Polar Music Prize, Sweden's most prestigious music award.