Biography of Kiki Smith
Kiki Smith (b.1954) was justifiably acknowledged by Time Magazine as one of the “TIME 100: The People Who Shape Our World”. Throughout her career, she has been pushing boundaries, exploring the human condition through a rich and challenging vocabulary of mixed media works.
Kiki Smith is the daughter of Minimalist artist Tony Smith, from whom she learnt about craftsmanship and form firsthand. Conceptually however, her work has always had a different focal point: The human body and everything that it encompasses, from the cycle of life, to physical and psychological functions, desires and needs. Following the death of her father and then her sister by AIDS, Kiki Smith became increasingly absorbed with the decay and mortality. She has been as much inspired by her own body and physical experiences as by those of the people around her, and female figures populate many of her works.
Kiki Smith’s multidisciplinary practice often involves collaging techniques such as print-making, photography, drawing, and textiles into one artwork. Her experimental approach to materials and mediums was prominent from the beginning of her career, with some of her earliest pieces including printing images of body parts on clothing. Smith has worked with many forms of print-making besides silk-screen, including aquatint and etching. Her editions form a large part of her oeuvre, and have been acquired in great number by the MoMA and the Whitney in New York.
Kiki Smith has had solo exhibitions at leading institutions across the world, including at the MoMA in NYC, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London and the Centre d’art Contemporain in Geneva. She has received numerous awards and honors in her lifetime so far, and is in the collections of such notable museums as the Whitney, the Tate, the MoMA, the Israel Museum, LACMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.