Kiki Smith, Sky, 2011.
In summer 2019, the Lower Belvedere is presenting the multi-facetted oeuvre of the American artist Kiki Smith. The exhibition will feature around sixty works from the last three decades, including recent pieces, and will place a focus on sculpture.
Born in Nuremberg in 1954, life and art are closely intertwined for Kiki Smith. Personal memories, historical events, and social and political changes form the foundations of her work. She is interested in questions related to human existence like identity, ownership and control of the body. Her search for answers has led Kiki Smith to the border zones between body and soul, life and death, culture and nature. Her early works responded to the social, political, and cultural changes in the 1980s, such as the impact of the AIDS crisis, the discourse on sexuality and gender, and feminist activities. In the 1990s she explored legends, myths, fairy-tales, and religious beliefs. Birds and animals – crows, cats, deer, snakes, wolves, and eagles ¬– attained central significance in her artistic universe.
The title Procession is derived from the Latin “procedere” as a reference to marching forwards, advancing, taking action, and is a literal allusion to Kiki Smith’s entire oeuvre, which will be presented at the Lower Belvedere in all its fascinating variety.
(Photo courtesy the artist and Magnolia Editions, Oakland. © Kiki Smith, courtesy Pace Gallery.)