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Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber Ocula Report Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber 15 Mar 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...

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Diana Campbell Betancourt Ocula Conversation Diana Campbell Betancourt

Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...

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Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art Ocula Report Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Mar 2019 : Mike Pinnington for Ocula

China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...

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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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Still by Kiki Smith contemporary artwork Kiki SmithStill, 2012 Bronze
31.8 x 35.6 cm
Pace Gallery
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

Current & Recent Exhibitions

View All (7)
Contemporary art exhibition, Kiki Smith, Murmur at Pace Gallery, New York
Open Now
1–30 March 2019 Kiki Smith Murmur Pace Gallery, 537 West 24th Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Group Exhibition at Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris, Paris
Closed
24 January–2 March 2019 Group Exhibition Group Exhibition Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris, 38 Avenue Matignon
Contemporary art exhibition, Kiki Smith, Woodland at Timothy Taylor, London
Closed
13 September–27 October 2018 Kiki Smith Woodland Timothy Taylor, London

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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