Installation view, Kiki Smith: I am a Wanderer, Modern Art Oxford. Photo by Ben Westoby © Kiki Smith

Museum Exhibitions

Kiki Smith

I am a Wanderer

Modern Art Oxford, London

Sep 28, 2019 – Jan 19, 2020

Kiki Smith is a pioneer of contemporary printmaking and sculpture, and this much-anticipated exhibition will be her first solo UK exhibition in a public institution in 20 years.

Organized in close collaboration with the artist, Kiki Smith: I am a Wanderer will focus on three distinctive areas of Smith’s practice: small sculptures created from the mid-1980s to present day; a selection from her printmaking; and the intricate Jacquard tapestries produced since 2012.

Her early small sculptures tackle bodily taboos such as decay, intimacy, mortality and physical pain. Smith says that she chose the human body as a subject because ‘it is the one form we all share’ and there is a poignant universality of experience in these sculptures of the human form fashioned from bronze, porcelain and crystal amongst many other materials.

In the early 1990s Smith began depicting the natural world, starting with birds, and her art grew more mythological and folkloric. In these works, a menagerie of real and mystical creatures, delicate plants and shooting stars are presented to us in an astonishing abundance of materials. Endlessly inventive, Smith has fashioned animal assortments in bronze, shells from gold, frogs from coloured glass, birds from beads, sea creatures from ink and flowers from precious silver. Exquisitely detailed etchings and drawings can also be seen alongside large-scale tapestries depicting empowered goddesses travelling through wild forests and starlit skies.

‘I am a wanderer’, Kiki Smith says, and as she roams she collects inspiration from a myriad of sources and cultures. Those looking at her art are transported with her to a multitude of lands and epochs, discovering new forms, materials and stories as they follow her wondrous journey.

For more information, please visit Modern Art Oxford's (opens in a new window) website.

  • Museum Exhibitions — Modern Art Oxford Presents "Kiki Smith: I am a Wanderer", Sep 30, 2019