Kiki Smith was born in 1954 in Nuremberg, Germany. She lives and works in New York.
Kiki Smith is one of the leading figures in the international art world. The human form, especially the female body, became central to Smith’s work in the 1980s. She began to focus on themes of loss and death through her depiction of the body’s internal components, especially organs, cellular structures and the nervous system. The evacuation of these physiological components from the body presented anxieties surrounding the maternal body and the notion of the body as a receptacle for incorporeal components such as knowledge, belief and storytelling. By exposing its internal structures, Smith portrays the dichotomy between the psychological and physiological spheres of the body. In recent years, Smith’s work has evolved to incorporate animals, domestic objects and narrative tropes from classical mythology and folk tales. Her career, spanning more than three decades, is characterized by great sperimentation with techniques and materials: she employs a wide-range of non-traditional materials ranging from hair and latex to beeswax and gold to a diverse body of media that includes painting, photography, bookmaking, sculpture, drawing, and printmaking.
A number of respected museums and institutions have dedicated survey shows to her: the Haus Esters Kunstmuseum in Krefeld (2008-2010), the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in Venice (2005); New York; the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (2005-2007); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2003).
Her works have been included in the public collections of some of the world’s most important museums: the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego. Her work has been part of the Viva Arte Viva exhibition curated by Christine Macel at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017).
[from Galleria Raffaella Cortese]