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The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka at LACMA Ocula Report The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka at LACMA 18 Jan 2019 : Perwana Nazif for Ocula

The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (9 December 2018–23 June 2019) is billed as the first comprehensive survey of Sri Lankan art organised by a U.S. museum, with around 240 works—including decorative objects, textiles, photographs, and historical works from the museum's own collection of Sri Lankan...

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Ellen Pau Ocula Conversation Ellen Pau Artist

A radiographer by training, Ellen Pau is a self-taught artist who emerged from Hong Kong's fledgling contemporary art scene of the late 1980s, when video was a comparatively nascent medium. In 1986, Pau co-founded Videotage—a non-profit organisation that specialises in the promotion and preservation of video and new media art. Pau has an...

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Singapore Art Week: Exhibitions to See Ocula Report Singapore Art Week: Exhibitions to See 18 Jan 2019 : Tessa Moldan for Ocula

S.E.A. Focus, the new boutique art fair by STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery, will take centre stage during this year's Singapore Art Week (19–27 January 2019). Running between 24 and 27 January 2019, 26 galleries will participate in the inaugural edition, showcasing modern and contemporary Southeast Asian art within a pop-up structure in...

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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.

Featured Artworks

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Phantom by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork Kiki SmithPhantom, 2016 Bronze
46.7 x 62.2 x 15.2 cm
Pace Gallery
Cathedral by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork Kiki SmithCathedral, 2013 Cotton Jacquard tapestry
287 x 190.5 cm
Pace Gallery
Underground by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork Kiki SmithUnderground, 2012 Jacquard tapestry
294.6 x 193 cm
Timothy Taylor
Fortune by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork Kiki SmithFortune, 2014 Jacquard tapestry
294.6 x 193 cm
Timothy Taylor
Crest by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork Kiki SmithCrest, 2015 Monoprint with hand applied watercolour, pencil and glitter on Losin Prague paper
8 x 11.5 inches
Krakow Witkin Gallery
Shooting Star by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork Kiki SmithShooting Star, 2011 Aluminium
272.4 x 259.7 x 5.1 cm
Pace Gallery
Prelude by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork Kiki SmithPrelude, 2014 Stained glass, mouth blown clear antique glass, black paint and enamel colours, fired and leaded, 6 framed panel
252.9 x 485.8 x 1.6 cm
Pace Gallery
Looking West II by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork Kiki SmithLooking West II, 2012 Monoprint with hand applied watercolour and pencil on Losin Prague paper
11 x 8 inches
Krakow Witkin Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Kiki Smith, Woodland at Timothy Taylor, London
13 September–27 October 2018 Kiki Smith Woodland Timothy Taylor, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Show, Time Talks at Krakow Witkin Gallery, Boston
30 June–27 July 2018 Group Show Time Talks Krakow Witkin Gallery, Boston
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, A New Way of Walking at Timothy Taylor, New York
29 June–27 July 2018 Group Exhibition A New Way of Walking Timothy Taylor, New York

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

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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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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Books, Wefts, and Black Lives Matter at the Baltimore Museum of Art Related Press Books, Wefts, and Black Lives Matter at the Baltimore Museum of Art Hyperallergic : 27 May 2017

Like the Baltimore Museum of Art's books, Louise B. Wheatley's textiles and Pendelton's mixed-media ventures pack a punch (actually, hers is more of a lingering touch). With her, you don't see it coming; with him, you can feel the vibrations down the block. Her mists/his missiles, resounding, both.

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