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

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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