Kiki Smith – Sky, 2012. Jacquard tapestry, 113 x 75 in. Edition of 10

Raffaella Cortese is proud to present Kiki Smith‘s third solo exhibition at the gallery. The American artist first showed in Milan in 2001, presenting drawings on Nepalese paper together with several bronze sculptures.

In 2004 Smith exhibited work at the gallery that focused mainly on graphic production, a technique employed throughout her oeuvre. By the Streamis an exhibition of photographs of great importance to the artist’s career.

Photography plays a key role in Smith’s artistic development. A broad examination of the natural world is evident in some of Smith’s earliest photographs. Smith’s photographs depicting natural history were exhibited at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, in 1998 and the International Center of Photography in New York in 2001.

The photographic imagery in By the Streamevokes a fairytale tradition and a surreal domestic world. Her snapshots build an iconographic narrative rich in fairy tale and laden with femininity. Using the camera, Smith draws a conceptual dimension of space and body set in a world of childlike dreams. Her work evokes the feminine origin of the world, investigating the female figure in its historical, social, emotional, and sexual contexts.

Smith has worked in a variety of mediums ranging from bronze to paper, from plaster to porcelain since the 1980’s. She is particularly drawn to photographing details of her sculpture, thus providing a new view of her work, through fracturing, distorting and reassembling. Many of these photographs were included in the comprehensive exhibition organized by Elizabeth Brown in 2010, I Myself Have Seen It: Photography & Kiki Smith, for which there is an accompanying monograph, on behalf of the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle.

The exhibition By the Streamis a natural and intimate view of Smith’s work and the natural world, through photography.

Kiki Smith | By the stream  | Raffaella Cortese Gallery

26 sept – 15 nov 2012 | Milan | Italy

t +39 02 2043555



Kiki Smith ( 1954, Germany) lives and works in New York. She is classified as a feminist artist, a movement with beginnings in the 20th century. Her Body Art is imbued with political significance, undermining the traditional erotic representations of women by male artists, and often exposes the inner biological systems of females as a metaphor  for hidden social issues. Her work also often includes the themes of birth and regeneration, as well as sustenance, and frequently has Catholic allusions. Smith has also been active in debate over controversies such as AIDS, gender, race, and battered women.

Important recent exhibitions of the artist’s photographic work have been organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2003);The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, (2005- 2007); Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2005); and Museum Haus Esters, Kunstmuseen Krefeld (2008-2010).

Smith’s work appears in the collections of major museums worldwide , notably the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Moderna Museet in Stockholm and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.