Kiki Smith

First solo exhibition of the American artist Kiki Smith in a French institution. Exceptional also by its size, nearly a hundred works, from the 1980s to today.

Kiki Smith’s art is symbolically nourished by memories of her childhood, from Grimm’s and Perrault’s fairy tales to the modeling work done for her father, the sculptor Tony Smith. The ensemble is marked by its fascination for the human body, which it first represents in a fragmented way, the skin appearing as a fragile border with the world. 

In the mid-1980s, Kiki Smith proposed a novel way of exploring the social, cultural and political role of women. His work then takes a more narrative turn. In a feminist perspective, she seizes in particular great biblical female figures to propose new representations. In her corpus, they rub elbows with fairy tales, or the ambiguous character of the witch, at the crossroads of fantasy and popular culture.

From the 2000s, the great myths of the origins are gradually attracting his attention, and the cosmogony becomes a chapter apart from his art.

Kiki Smith’s work is thus akin to a crossing, a quest for the union of bodies with the totality of living beings and the cosmos. From microscopic elements to organs, from organs to the body as a whole, then from the body to cosmic systems, the artist explores the relationship between species and scales, seeking the harmony that unites us with nature and the universe.

October 18, 2019 – February 9, 2020


11 quai Conti 75006 Paris