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Kiki Smith


About Kiki Smith

Kiki Smith (American, b. 1954, Nuremberg, Germany) has been known since the 1980s for her multidisciplinary practice relating to the human condition and the natural world. She uses a broad variety of materials to continuously expand and evolve a body of work that includes sculpture, printmaking, photography, drawing and textiles.

Smith has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions worldwide including over 25 museum exhibitions. Her work has been featured at five Venice Biennales, including the 2017 edition. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2017 was awarded the title of Honorary Royal Academician by the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Previously, Smith was recognized in 2006 by TIME Magazine as one of the “TIME 100: The People Who Shape Our World.” Other awards include the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture in 2000; the 2009 Edward MacDowell Medal; the 2010 Nelson A. Rockefeller Award, Purchase College School of the Arts; the 2013 U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts, conferred by Hillary Clinton; and the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center, among others. She is an adjunct professor at NYU and Columbia University.

Kiki Smith has been represented by Pace Gallery since 1994.

Press Release

  • Kiki Smith: Realms
    PaceWildenstein is pleased to present Realms, new single and multipart work by Kiki Smith on view from March 14 through April 27, 2002 at Pace’s Chelsea gallery (534 West 25th Street, New York City). Five principal pieces comprised of life-size, figurative sculptures will explore the themes of life, death, resurrection and rebirth. The exhibition includes: Born, a sculpture depicting a woman being born out of a deer; Ditch, a three-dimensional imprint of Smith’s own body lying in the ground, covered in dirt and inverted, on whose surface a biblical excerpt from Revelations is written in raised letters; Rapture, a sculpture representing a woman walking out of an upside-down wolf; a sculptural grouping of three separate women kneeling on pyres with their arms outstretched; and a sculptural grouping comprised of three separate women—whose stiff bodies are stylistically reminiscent of Greek kore figures—placed on wooden stanchions at precarious angles. Incorporating bronze, aluminum and wooden elements, Realms elaborates upon many subjects central to Smith’s oeuvre such as anatomy, anthropology, mythology and religion. In a catalogue foreword accompanying a recent exhibition at the Ulmer Museum in Germany, Director Brigitte Reinhardt writes: “Kiki Smith has made a significant contribution to reflection on human existence…[she] works beyond the boundaries of doctrine…and takes inspiration from archaic myths and ideas, from the fables and fairy tales of western culture, in creating meditative and healing images.” Kiki Smith (b. 1954: Nuremburg, Germany) trained in art making through her participation in COLAB (Collaborative Projects), a New York-based cooperative that maintained an active membership of over forty artists in the mid-Seventies. In 1982, Smith received her first solo exhibition, Life Wants to Live, at The Kitchen (New York, NY), and in the past twenty years her work has been the subject of over eighty solo shows worldwide. Smith’s early career, one-person exhibitions were organized by a cross-section of domestic and international venues including: the Dallas Museum of Art (1989); the Centre d’Arte Contemporaine (Geneva, 1990); the Institute of Contemporary Art (Amsterdam, 1990); The Museum of Modern Art (New York, 1990-91); the MAK Galerie (Vienna, 1991); the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, DC, 1991); the Ősterreichisches Museum fűr angewandte Kunst (Vienna, 1992); the Williams College Museum of Art and the Wexner Center for the Arts (Williamstown, MA and Columbus, OH, 1992-93); Anthony d’Offay Gallery (London, 1993); the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and the Kunstnernes Hus (Humlebæk, Denmark and Oslo, Norway, 1994); and the Israel Museum (1994). In 1994, Drawings marked Smith’s first exhibition with PaceWildenstein. That same year Barbara Krakow Gallery (Boston) organized Prints and Multiples 1985-1993, a two-year traveling show of Smith’s work exhibited at university collections and regional museums throughout the United States. More recently, Smith’s solo exhibitions have included: Kiki Smith at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX (1996-97); Paradise Cage: Kiki Smith and Coop Himmelblau at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1996-97); Kiki Smith: Convergence at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (1997-98); Directions – Kiki Smith: Night at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (1998); Invention/Intervention: Kiki Smith and the Museums at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (1998); Familiars at the Center for Curatorial Studies Museum, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (1999); My Nature: Works with Paper by Kiki Smith at the St. Louis Art Museum (1999-2000); and Kiki Smith: Telling Tales at the International Center for Photography (2001). Smith has participated in group exhibitions since 1979 and her work has been shown in alternative art spaces, benefit exhibitions, galleries, museums, public art spaces and university collections in over fifteen countries. In 1993, Smith’s work was featured in Aperto at the Venice Biennale, and this year is the third occasion—previously in 1991 and 1993—that her work will be presented in the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Smith received the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture in 2000. Kiki Smith’s work can be found in over thirty-five public collections around the world, including: the Art Institute of Chicago; the Bonner Kunstverein (Bonn, Germany); the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, DC); the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA); the High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA); the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin, Ireland); the Israel Museum (Jerusalem, Israel); the J.B. Speed Art Museum (Louisville, KY); the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebæk, Denmark); The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY); the Moderna Museet (Stockholm, Sweden); The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); The New York Public Library; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Tate Gallery (London, England); the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, England); the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY); and the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT). Concurrent with the PaceWildenstein exhibition, Smith’s work will also be presented in the Whitney 2002 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York from March 7 through May 26, 2002; at Triple Candie gallery, New York from March 16 through April 16, 2002; and, in Unnatural Science at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams through April 15, 2002. Kiki Smith currently lives and works in New York City. Images are available upon request.



Kiki Smith

2002. Pace Gallery. Folding booklet

20 panels of illustrations; 3 ½ x 5 inches