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Bizarrely Evocative Tableaux: Art by Kiki Smith


A bronze cast installation of sculptures of 3 women and 3 sheepWomen with Sheep (Three Women, Three Sheep), bronze

Kiki Smith’s work addresses themes of nature and spirituality from a human standpoint. She works in both three-dimensional and two-dimensional media, utilizing motifs of animals and human figures in bizarrely evocative tableaux. Smith current lives and works in New York.

 

A cast aluminum sculpture of birds on an upside-down chairHomecoming, cast aluminum

Her recent works have explored sculpture and stained glass work. A 2014 exhibition at New York’s Pace Gallery, entitled Wonder, used imagery of birds and trees to emphasize the idea of wonder in nature. I like the ambiguity that is present in Smith’s works – though they are most often representational, the subject matter seems isolated and somehow removed from its normal context. Looking at Smith’s artwork is often like remembering a dream.

 

Smith’s human figures are often women, sculpted or drawn in a slightly flat and primitive style, as if they were illustrations in a children’s book of fairytales. They are reminiscent of some works by Liz Craft, but possess a slightly more serious aura. 


A sculpture of a woman holding a bouquet of flowersSinger, bronze, variable flowers


About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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