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Hito Steyerl: How To Build a Sustainable Art World Ocula Conversation Hito Steyerl: How To Build a Sustainable Art World

'A Picture of War is Not War', we read in Hito Steyerl's iconic film November (2004), an essayistic Super 8 film tackling the definition of terrorism constructed around the figure of the artist's best friend Andrea Wolf, who was killed as a terrorist in 1998 in Eastern Anatolia after she joined the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Mixing documentary...

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Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future Ocula Report Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future 11 Oct 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Kiki Smith

b. 1954, Germany

Kiki Smith’s practice addresses the philosophical, social and spiritual aspects of human nature. By manipulating everyday materials such as glass, ceramic, fabric and paper, Smith’s work examines the dichotomy between the psychological and physiological power of the body.

As a young girl, one of Smith’s first experiences with art was helping her father–American sculptor Tony Smith–make cardboard models for his geometric sculptures. This training in formalist systems, combined with her upbringing in the Catholic Church, would later resurface in Smith’s evocative sculptures, drawings, and prints. The recurrent subject matter in Smith’s work has been the body as a receptacle for knowledge, belief, and storytelling.

In the 1980s, Smith literally turned the figurative tradition in sculpture inside out, creating objects and drawings based on organs, cellular forms, and the human nervous system. This body of work evolved to incorporate animals, domestic objects, and narrative tropes from classical mythology and folk tales. Life, death, and resurrection are thematic signposts in many of Smith’s installations and sculptures.

In 2003, The Museum of Modern Art, New York exhibited a survey of Smith’s printed art, Kiki Smith: Prints, Books & Things. In 2005, Smith’s retrospective A Gathering: 1980-2005 was held at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and toured to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and La Colección Jumex, Mexico City. The same year, to coincide with the 2005 Venice Biennale, Smith exhibited Homespun Tales at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice.

In 2008, Smith produced Her Home, a site-specific installation in collaboration with Museum Haus Esters, the Kunstmuseen Krefeld, which then toured to the Kunsthalle Nürnburg and the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona.

Smith was the 2009 recipient of the 50th Edward MacDowell Medal, as well as the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture and the Athena Award for Excellence in Printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2005 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York. In 2016, the International Sculpture Center awarded Smith their Lifetime Achievement Award.

Smith’s work is in numerous prominent museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Kiki Smith was born in 1954 in Nuremberg, Germany.

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Featured Artworks

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Sungrazer V by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork
Kiki SmithSungrazer V, 2019 Pace Gallery
Sungrazer II by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork
Kiki SmithSungrazer II, 2019 Pace Gallery
Sungrazer VI by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork
Kiki SmithSungrazer VI, 2019 Pace Gallery
Tattoo Print by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork
Kiki SmithTattoo Print, 1995 Screenprint on machine-made paper
20 x 30 inches
Krakow Witkin Gallery
Flowers with Bee by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork
Kiki SmithFlowers with Bee, 2000 Set of six etchings
16 1/8 x 14 inches
Krakow Witkin Gallery
Veins and Arteries by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork
Kiki SmithVeins and Arteries, 1993–2000 Red and blue glass beads and wire
30 x 12 x 16 inches
Krakow Witkin Gallery
The Light of the World by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork
Kiki SmithThe Light of the World, 2017 Cyanotype on Losin Prague paper, unique
16 1/4 x 22 3/4 inches
Krakow Witkin Gallery
Trinity Heaven and Earth by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork
Kiki SmithTrinity Heaven and Earth, 2000 Etching and aquatint on mould-made Hahnemuhle paper with deckled edge
58 x 44 inches
Krakow Witkin Gallery

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Kiki Smith, Homecoming at Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris, Paris
Open Now
10 October–16 November 2019 Kiki Smith Homecoming Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris, 13 Rue de Téhéran
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Chewing Gum III at Pace Gallery, Hong Kong
Closed
25 May–4 July 2019 Group Exhibition Chewing Gum III Pace Gallery, Hong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Kiki Smith, Murmur at Pace Gallery, New York
Closed
1–30 March 2019 Kiki Smith Murmur Pace Gallery, 537 West 24th Street, New York

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Armory Week Lowdown: Shows to See Ocula Report Armory Week Lowdown: Shows to See 2 Mar 2019 : Sharmistha Ray for Ocula

The Armory Show opens to the public on 7 March (running to 10 March 2019)—just about a week after the fair relocated a portion of its 194 exhibitors due to structural issues found in Pier 92, forcing its sister fair Volta to cancel its 2019 show so that Armory could occupy its Pier 90 venue. Despite the upheaval, New York's art week is going...

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The Lowdown: shows to see during Frieze week Ocula Report The Lowdown: shows to see during Frieze week 27 Apr 2018 : Robert Ayers for Ocula

With Frieze New York returning to Randall's Island Park from 4 to 6 May 2018, Ocula is on hand to offer a selection of exhibitions around the city, from Bushwick and the LES to Chelsea, Midtown and the Upper East Side.Exhibition view: Before the Fall: German and Austrian Art of the 1930s, Neue Galerie New York (8 March–28 May 2018). Courtesy Neue...

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In Related Press

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Kiki Smith and the Pursuit of Beauty in a Notably Unbeautiful Age Related Press Kiki Smith and the Pursuit of Beauty in a Notably Unbeautiful Age New York Times : 26 November 2018

STROLLING WITH THE ARTIST Kiki Smith down the not-entirely-gentrified East Village block where she lives and works, in a townhouse with a cherry-red door, can take a remarkably long time. It's not that she isn't nimble — at 64, she has energy to match her famously prodigious output, able to navigate in a billowing black cotton shift around...

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Feminist artist Kiki Smith: 'Getting older, certain things quiet' Related Press Feminist artist Kiki Smith: 'Getting older, certain things quiet' The Sydney Morning Herald : 30 August 2018

The female body. Its bones and limbs, its emotions, its animal instinct, its bodily functions, its secrets and anxieties, its sexuality, its illnesses and pain.There is no part of it that has been left unexplored by the fearless American artist Kiki Smith, a pioneer of contemporary feminist art who has grappled with female beauty, shame, mortality...

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Kiki Smith Takes Over the Eldridge Street Synagogue with 50 Artworks Related Press Kiki Smith Takes Over the Eldridge Street Synagogue with 50 Artworks Hyperallergic : 5 June 2018

Before the restoration of the Eldridge Street Synagogue, birds flew in through holes in the roof. The animals roosted in the 19th-century structure that was once a haven for Eastern European Jews on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, but it had fallen into a decline because of a shrinking membership and its leaking sanctuary was closed off half a century...

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KIKI SMITH: Below the Horizon Related Press KIKI SMITH: Below the Horizon The Brooklyn Rail : 5 June 2018

Stars are again on Smith’s mind. Her unassuming new show of fifty works at the synagogue, now a museum, is titled Below the Horizon, in recognition, according to the exhibition, of the fact that we only see the stars once the sun has gone down. Sunsets are a fine metaphor for the museum’s extended period of decline.

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3 new artworks by Kiki Smith have recently been added to Ocula. Sign up to be among the first to know when new works become available.

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