Kiki Smith (American, b. 1954)

Smith is a multimedia artist who employs photography, printmaking, sculpture, drawing, and textiles to discover knowledge within the human body and uncover relationships between humans and nonhumans. Smith seeks to understand the feminine, the spiritual, the natural, and the mythic. For instance, in Hair, Smith makes body parts visceral and abstracted.

Smith began making art at a young age with her father, sculptor Tony Smith, but describes herself as mostly self-taught. After a brief stint at Hartford Art School, she developed her art practice with the help of the independent artists’ collective Colab in New York City. Smith has featured work at five Venice Biennales and more than 25 solo exhibitions. She has received several awards, including the US Department of State Medal of Arts in 2013 and the International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. Smith lives and works in New York City, where she is an adjunct professor at New York University and Columbia University.