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Kiki Smith

Nuremberg, Germany 1954

Kiki Smith is considered to be one of the most influential conceptual artists in the contemporary feminist scene. She was born in 1954 in Nuremberg, Germany. As a child, she moved to South Orange (New Jersey) with her father, minimalist sculptor Tony Smith. She spent her youth in a creative environment, because her father’s friends, including Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko, often visited the family home.


From the very beginning, Kiki Smith carved out a place for herself in the feminist art world, focusing mainly on the representation of the human figure, particularly the female figure or individual body parts such as internal organs (heart, liver, lungs, stomach and spleen), the nervous system and cellular structures. After her father’s death in 1980, themes of mortality, spirituality and mysticism became central to her work. Her intention is to highlight the effects that illness has on the body and soul, touching on aspects such as shame, guilt and mortification. In this way, voice (FOCUS) is given to the AIDS crisis, an infectious disease that caused many deaths throughout these years, including Smith’s own sister.


During her career, she boasts the use of singular materials such as hair and latex, beeswax and gold, plaster, bronze, paper, glass and porcelain, through various artistic expressions such as painting, photography, sculpture, drawing, installations, jewellery, artist’s books, videos and film works.


Her works are presented in the most important museums in the world: 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 , Tate Gallery in London , Museum of Modern Art in New York , Victoria and Albert Museum in London , Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles , Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego


Kiki Smith

Mourning Drawing
ink, graphite, and lithograph on Nepalese paper

179,1 x 80 cm

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