Kiki Smith is an American artist, born in Germany in 1954. Her work addresses themes such as birth, sex, the human condition and the natural world. She was brought up within the spheres of minimalism and abstract art (her father was Tony Smith, a minimalist sculptor. Family friends included Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko). In spite of this, and the dominance of Minimalism and abstraction in the art scene, her work often centred around the human figure. Her detailed sculptures of the human body were often disturbing, focussing on themes of women in mythology and folklore, or referencing her Catholic upbringing.
The works of Kiki Smith which I admire most are those which remind me of Odilon Redon’s work, illustrations after Lewis Carroll, and her epic tapestries.
Everything I’ve seen and read about Kiki Smith fills me with awe and excitement which comes with a real feeling of affinity. Her confidence in going her own way and following her heart in the path of her art journey is inspiring. Exploring difficult themes and communicating important messages regarding death, feminism and our place in the world, Kiki Smith’s art has depth and authenticity which I find incredibly admirable.
theartstory.org, thegundgallery.org, tate.org.uk – TateShots: Kiki Smith.