In A Bower
This print of a bird in a tree is full of rich textures and subtle colors. Although the subject and title both evoke symbolism, the composition rests somewhere between a visual omen and a work of careful observation. Kiki Smith works in an expansive range of mediums and employs diverse materials to examine elemental forces on the human condition, such as sex, death, regeneration and the natural world. Over the years, Smith’s motifs have included animals, female figures and celestial bodies.
Of her fascination with the human figure, Smith says: “I always think the whole history of the world is in your body.”
Kiki Smith is best known for figurative works that explore mortality, abjection and sexuality. The artist has a special fascination with the body and bodily fluids, and frequently depicts excreta such as blood, semen and bile in carefully crafted sculptures that bear the influence of surrealism. Smith's work encompasses tattooing, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, textiles and photography, employing each medium to engage with a range of themes that relate to the human condition.