Kiki Smith is an artist who is known for working with many different materials; glass, plaster, ceramic and bronze as well as paint, embroidery, printing and various textile techniques. Smith’s early work addressed in particular the human body. Representing the fragmented body both inside and out as well as how the body relates to the world that surrounds it was how she mastered its representation and demonstrated its importance. She has therefore become an extremely proficient artist in terms of considering the female form, treating it with integrity and vulnerability.
Her works often contain natural imagery – birds, animals, and the cosmos. Birds in particular indicate nature’s inherent fragility but also a sense of shared spirituality and religion. Smith often confronts the experience of childhood in her works when she re-elaborates myths and legends, alluding to narratives and stories which are familiar to the viewer.
Kiki Smith studied art history and the influence of centuries of visual culture is evident in her work. Ancient tapestries, early Renaissance European painting and Victorian children’s books are all artistic references that we recognise in her work. Her work also addresses collective themes of death, birth, regeneration and decay. Correspondingly, the image or sense of a powerful female figure permeates her works. Smith doesn’t work in a studio but chooses communal environments like universities, foundries and various workshops. In these places, the sense of collaboration and learning from people who have specific practical and artistic knowledge is something which contributes to her practise.
Adel Abdessemed Etel Adnan Ai Weiwei Leila Alaoui Juan Araujo Kader Attia Daniel Buren Cai Guo-Qiang Alejandro Campins Iván Capote Yoan Capote Loris Cecchini Elizabet Cerviño Chen Zhen Nikhil Chopra Marcelo Cidade Carlos Cruz-Diez Jonathas de Andrade Berlinde De Bruyckere Leandro Erlich Carlos Garaicoa Osvaldo González Antony Gormley Gu Dexin Shilpa Gupta Subodh Gupta Carsten Höller Eva Jospin JR Ilya & Emilia Kabakov Zhanna Kadyrova Kan Xuan Anish Kapoor André Komatsu Jannis Kounellis Luis López-Chávez Jorge Macchi Ahmed Mater Cildo Meireles José Manuel Mesías Sabrina Mezzaqui Moataz Nasr Rudi Ninov Hans Op de Beeck Ornaghi & Prestinari Giovanni Ozzola Susana Pilar Michelangelo Pistoletto Qiu Zhijie Tobias Rehberger Arcangelo Sassolino Manuela Sedmach Serse Kiki Smith Nedko Solakov Marta Spagnoli José Antonio Suárez Londoño Hiroshi Sugimoto Sun Yuan & Peng Yu Ana Maria Tavares Pascale Marthine Tayou Armando Testa Nari Ward Sislej Xhafa José Yaque Zhuang Hui