Women Artists

Kiki Smith’s Bodies as Instruments of Perception and Travel

Magda Michalska 6 April 2019 min Read

It seems Kiki Smith didn't have much choice when deciding on who to become in the future because art just flows in her veins: her father Tony Smith was a sculptor, her mother, Jane Lawrence Smith, was an opera singer and actor, and her sister Seton is also an artist... Although she was born in Nuremberg, Germany, she moved with her family to South Orange, NJ and quickly became a star of American contemporary art scene.

[caption id="attachment_20314" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Kiki Smith, Tapestry Underground, 2012, Courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery, Oakland, California, kiki smith's bodies Kiki Smith, Tapestry Underground, 2012, Courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery, Oakland, California[/caption] Kiki's main artistic focus until the 1990s was the construct of the body, in particular that of the woman in all its fragile balancing on the verge of life and death. "I always think the whole history of the world is in your body," Smith has said and hence treated it not only as a corporeal identity which is often torn and at times even dismembered, but also as an independent entity capable of rebellion or redemption. In her artistic exploration Kiki used a variety of media, such as drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and textiles. [caption id="attachment_20313" align="aligncenter" width="599"]Kiki Smith, Tapestry earth, 2012, Courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery, Oakland, California, kiki smith's bodies Kiki Smith, Tapestry Earth, 2012, Courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery, Oakland, California[/caption] Her new show What I saw on the road that you can see in Uffizi in Italy, features tapestries and sculptures which portray how the body is a lens and an instrument through which we can experience: Kiki explores the relationship between the body and the world, between man and the cosmos. Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Galleries, noted that "the extremely elegant grace of Kiki's latest works, whose often fragile and precious matter is an effective metaphor of the human – especially the female – condition, has the loftily ethical aim of recreating unity and harmony in what is so often a world of brutality and discord, unleashing a deeply revolutionary energy: hers is the vocabulary of a new, unexpected and disconcerting pietas." [caption id="attachment_20312" align="aligncenter" width="601"]Kiki Smith, Tapestry Congregation, 2014, Courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery, Oakland, California, kiki smith's bodies Kiki Smith, Tapestry Congregation, 2014, Courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery, Oakland, California[/caption] You can see the exhibition at Palazzo Pitti until June, 2nd.
Learn more:

[easyazon_image align="none" height="110" identifier="3791356267" locale="US" src="https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/511GazshbTL.SL110.jpg" tag="dailyartdaily-20" width="88"] [easyazon_image align="none" height="110" identifier="1580931618" locale="US" src="https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/51cEfzJjcdL.SL110.jpg" tag="dailyartdaily-20" width="87"]

Recommended

Women Artists

Małgorzata Mirga-Tas: Romani Artist Re-Enchanting the Venice Biennale

In an astonishing first for Roma and Traveller people, a Romani artist is representing a national pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2022. Małgorzata...

Candy Bedworth 26 May 2022

Women Artists

Mary Cassatt: An Image of Motherhood

Mary Cassatt was the only American painter who exhibited with the Impressionists. Although she never married or had children of her own, she is best...

Ruxi Rusu 22 May 2022

Anita Steckel, Giant Woman (Empire State), 1974. Smith College Museum of Art, Massachusetts, USA. Women Artists

Anita Steckel: Art, Sex, and Politics

Anita Steckel was a feminist artist of the late 20th century who pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable. Her art and beliefs were...

Errika Gerakiti 9 May 2022

Women Artists

Zaha Hadid in 10 Designs

Zaha Hadid was undoubtedly one of the most important architects in the last hundred years. She forged her individual style and blazed a trail for...

Joanna Kaszubowska 19 March 2022