February 12, 2018 - Haus der Kunst - Kiki Smith: Procession
February 12, 2018

Haus der Kunst

Kiki Smith, Sky, 2011. Jacquard-Tapisserie, 287 x 190.5 cm. © Kiki Smith. Courtesy of the artist and Magnolia Editions, Oakland and Pace Gallery. 

Kiki Smith
Procession
February 2–June 3, 2018

Haus der Kunst
Prinzregentenstrasse 1
D-80538 Munich
Germany
Hours: Monday–Sunday 10am–8pm,
Thursday 10am–10pm

T +49 89 21127113
mail@hausderkunst.de

hausderkunst.de
Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

Kiki Smith
Procession
February 2–June 3, 2018

Haus der Kunst
Prinzregentenstrasse 1
D-80538 Munich
Germany
Hours: Monday–Sunday 10am–8pm,
Thursday 10am–10pm

T +49 89 21127113
mail@hausderkunst.de

hausderkunst.de
Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

For more than three decades, the American artist Kiki Smith (born 1954 in Nuremberg) has been creating a multifaceted body of work, in which she explores the political and social, as well as the philosophical and spiritual aspects of human nature. Unrestricted by cultural taboos or the limits of shame, Smith’s analytical penetration of the body probes the conditions of human existence: age, death and dying, wounding and healing, wholeness and fragmentation, sexuality and gender, identity and memory. In addition to sculpture, Kiki Smith works in a variety of media, in particular drawing, etching and lithography, as well as books, photography and video. She employs a wealth of materials including bronze, plaster, glass, porcelain, paper, pigment, aluminum, latex, feathers, hair and beeswax.

The exhibition at Haus der Kunst is Smith’s first major museum presentation in Europe. The selected works interweave to create an overall representation of the artist’s intellectual universe, with a focus on the sculptures and drawings from the beginning of her artistic career in the 1980s to her most recent works.

Smith’s works from the 1990s isolate individual human body parts: stomach, head, hands, intestines, or vessels containing bodily fluids like blood, sweat, milk and tears. Separated from the whole, they resemble archaeological finds or relics. It is the radical nature of the images and the magical, alchemical quality of the materials that make Smith’s work unique. Through her devotion to the “drama” of the body—in particular the female body—the entire emotional spectrum of violence and vulnerability, of harmony and security, is present.

In her works, Smith employs various artisanal techniques including glass blowing, glass painting, porcelain production and processing, plaster casts, paper mache and felt work. With Glass Stomach (1985) Kiki Smith presents the stomach as a transparent vessel. The organic site of the chemical separation of nutrients and their transformation into energy is laboratory equipment for alchemical experiments. Smith describes her choice for using a particular material as “a useful way to think.”

Based on these anatomical depictions, Kiki Smith’s work has since developed into a universe populated by girls and women, hybrid creatures, animals of all kinds, plants and stars. With Jersey Crows (1995/2017), she commemorates 26 crows who became victims of pesticides and fell dead from the skies of New Jersey. Such an installation establishes a place of esteem for creatures whose habitat is threatened by humans, reminiscent of the rite of crossing over as well as preservation, coffins and Noah’s ark. Smith examines our behavior towards creation, but her own attitude is clear: “One does not exploit any nature that speaks to one.”

The series of 12 tapestries is exhibited here for the first time in its entirety. On Kiki Smith’s first trip back to Europe, the artist fulfilled her desire to see “The Apocalypse Cycle” tapestries, which Duke Louis I of Anjou had commissioned for his residence in Angers between 1377 and 1382. This 140m-wide tapestry depicts the visions of John’s revelation. In her own series of tapestries, Smith tells a kind of creation story. Snake, wolf, raven, Eve, Adam, deer, mountains, rivers, sea and stars are woven into a confessional cosmos.

The exhibition is curated by Petra Giloy-Hirtz.

The catalogue is published by Prestel, with contributions by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Petra Giloy-Hirtz, Virginia Raguin, Kiki Smith and Ulrich Wilmes.


Kiki Smith's Favorite Poems
A Reading in Contemporary Poetry
Read by Sophie von Kessel
Moderated by Petra Giloy-Hirtz
March 13, 2018, 8pm
(in the exhibition space)

Talks & Tours
Petra Giloy-Hirtz and Swiss Psychoanalyst Jeanette Fischer
will give a tour through the exhibition
May 29, 2018, 6:30pm

 

Press contact:
Elena Heitsch
T +49 89 21127 115
presse [​at​] hausderkunst.de

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