Kiki Smith: Behold

Kiki Smith: Behold

back porch whispering by kiki smith

Kiki Smith

Back Porch Whispering, 2012

Price on Request

Friday, October 12, 2012Saturday, November 17, 2012


London, United Kingdom

Private view: Thursday 11 October 6.30 – 8.30pm

Introduction to the exhibition by Kiki Smith at 7pm

Timothy Taylor Gallery is proud to announce its second solo exhibition by internationally acclaimed artist Kiki Smith, whose career spans more than three decades. This will be Smith’s first UK solo show since 2006, and will feature sculpture, bronze wall reliefs, stained glass, porcelain figures and tapestry.

Since the early 1980s, Smith has ‘used the body as metaphor, drawing upon myth, spirituality and narrative to consider the human condition, its strengths and its frailties’.* More recently Smith’s work has been concerned with the interdependence of the natural world; her exhibitions and installations express the vitality of an animistic, spiritually charged universe.

Smith’s imagery shows the fundamental elements of life: humans in their diversity; animals, birds and other reptiles; flora and fauna; geology and the elements; as well as the firmament with its suns and moons and stars, all in generative and destructive harmony. She creates an idiosyncratic cosmology.

Kiki Smith’s work draws upon the vast manifestations of creativity throughout history, including Byzantine icons, medieval tapestries and 1920s Hollywood, ancient Greek simplified sculptural female figures known as Korai, and film techniques such as jump-cuts, pixelation, and storyboards. This exhibition explores Smith’s interest in narrative and storytelling through sequencing, and the mysteries that inhabit the imaginary and literal space between works. A major theme within the exhibition emerges from the number of works that closely interrelate with or echo each other. Indeed Smith is responding to the importance of doubling and repetition to the human psyche, for, as Smith has commented herself “I think there’s a spiritual power in repetition, a devotional quality."

Kiki Smith was born in 1954 in Nürnberg and grew up in the United States. She now lives in New York. Her work is held in public and private collections worldwide.

Smith will be in an exhibition at Kunsthalle Bielefeld, opening 23 September, along with her sister Seton Smith and their late father, sculptor Tony Smith, celebrating the centennial of his birth.

Recent solo exhibitions include Visionary Sugar: Works by Kiki Smith at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, New York and the touring exhibition I Myself Have Seen It: Photography and Kiki Smith, which started at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle and travelled to Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Evanston, Illinois; The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore College, New York and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona.

In 2008, Smith produced Her Home, a site-specific installation in collaboration with Kunstmuseen Krefeld, Museum Haus Esters. The exhibition, which toured to Kunsthalle Nürnburg in altered form, travelled once more to Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona in Spring 2009 and the Brooklyn Museum in 2010.

In 2005, The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis presented Smith’s retrospective A Gathering: 1980-2005, which travelled to The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and La Colección Jumex, Mexico City. The same year, coinciding with the Venice Biennale 2005, Smith made a site specific installation at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia entitled Homespun Tales. In 2003 The Museum of Modern Art, New York exhibited a survey of Smith’s printed art, Kiki Smith: Prints, Books & Things.

*Siri Engberg in Kiki Smith, A Gathering, 1980 – 2005, Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, 2006