Artist : Kiki Smith

I've been needing a little inspiration lately, some different ideas to jolt me out of my comfort zone. Whenever I feel this way, I often return to Kiki Smith's works.

From Kiki Smith: A Gathering. Walker Art Center
My name growing up was Kiki, even my parents used it. And when I married, I took my husband's last name, Clark. One day, this young artist (oh my, was I young when I married) came across the name Kiki Smith. I wondered what kind of art Kiki Smith made compared to Kiki Clark's. I was in for a surprise.

Mine, glass, 38 units vary from 950x114x121 mm to 178x184x95 mm, 1999;
ⓒ Kiki Smith, photo by Ellen Page Wilson, photo courtesy of PaceWildenstein, New York
Prints by Kiki Smith. Image from mintdesignblog.com

Constellation, 2000. Mass MOCA
Fast forward ten years long after I'd lost my nickname. In the late 90's, Sotheby's auctions were online and my office was one of the few with high speed internet. I scored this lovely piece for a song ...

Silent Work, 1992. Silkscreen with rubber ink stamp, and candle.  19" x 29" Image from moma.org
MOMA even has a later edition than mine (ha, take that moma!).  I look at this every day with awe. This is the image that seemed to resonate with me the most today was the pojagi inspired website MOMA created for her 2003 show. Of course I love the design. It provides the perfect balance for her free spirited work. Hmmmm.

For more images of the above website go here or here if your flash isn't working, like mine, grrr. To see the entire installation for the  2005 Venice Biennale "Squatting the Palace", click here.


Victoria said...

You are an unending source of wonderful finds and information... I always find something inspiring when I visit your blog!

And bravo to you for scoring such great work!
(Ya snooze, ya lose, MOMA!)

Chantal said...

Beautiful work! I love her prints and sense of space in the first. Thanks for the introduction Kathryn.

You're so lucky to have your own piece of her collection!

Lari Washburn said...

I love Kiki Smith...I was lucky enough to be in Venice for her wonderful show in 2005 (with Sophie!), and it was amazing.

Sophie Truong said...

Yes, we were and her takeover of that palazzo was amazing!! Love her work too. Especially all her work on Nepalese paper. That documentary sounds great, I'm going to look for it..

kathrynclark said...

Glad to help shed the light on a great artist!

That must have been a fun trip, Lari and Sophie! After I discovered her drawings, Sophie, I bought lots and lots of that paper. I'm still waiting for that eureka moment to use it.

Kitty Kilian said...

A gathering is a fun piece.. although I guess fun is a word that would not really apply to her work.Hhowcome they used pojagi on that poster? Looks very nice in all these light colours..

Jess said...

I'm also a big Kiki Smith fan! I love the elements of folklore in her work. She's one of my favorite printmakers! When I get stuck I look to some of her work for ideas and inspiration!


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