Kiki Smith is an inventive printmaker as one can immediately gather when viewing this exhibition of her prints and multiples currently on view at Pace Prints, 32 East 57th Street.
Kiki Smith (American, b. 1954, Nuremberg, Germany) is a leading figure among artists addressing philosophical, social, and spiritual aspects of human nature. For more than three decades, she has created works of exceptional power and beauty.
Three print projects in the exhibition typify Smith’s creativity and diversity as a printmaker in both her content and technique.
In the 12 color lithograph, Born, 2002, Smith revisits the theme of Ms. Red Riding Hood and the wolf. The artist mines fairy tales for their mythic quality and often cross pollinates these ideas with other tropes. Referencing the tale of St. Genevieve and her wolves, Smith has chosen to depict herself as both Red Riding Hood and St. Genevieve alongside each other emerging from the belly of the wolf
A highlight of the exhibition is the series Blue Prints, 1999, on view in its entirety. The fifteen etchings with aquatint and drypoint were created at a time when the artist was exploring childhood related themes.
Kiki Smith’s Tidal (1998) is an accordion-folded panorama of thirteen full moons over tidal waters. The photographs of full moons were taken over the course of one year from Columbia University’s astronomical observatory. The artist chose to print the moons on mold-made Hahnemühle paper and connect it to delicate, handmade Kizukishi paper. This choice was inspired by the artist’s interest in medieval manuscripts and girdle books.
Charm, 2011, is a portfolio of 9 etchings with hand-coloring, and the latest collaboration between the artist and Pace Prints. The portfolio depicts images of anatomy, animals, technology and nature. Covering many of her oft used themes, Charm could be seen as a compact Kiki Smith retrospective. The delicately drawn etchings feature hand-coloring with vibrant Prismacolor pencil.