An Artist's Sources

February 6, 2008 (Wednesday) / 5:00 pm6:30 pm

Harrison Auditorium, Penn Museum, 3260 South Street

An Artist's Sources

Kiki Smith

"Basically, art is just a way to think," says acclaimed feminist artist Kiki Smith. "It's like standing in the wind and letting it pull you in whatever direction it wants to go." Listen in as one of the most influential artists of her generation speaks about the influences on her work.

Time magazine calls Kiki Smith one of America's greatest artists. She is, says Chuck Close, the "epitome of innovation, invention and unique personal vision." Always diverse, her work is, he says, "by turns magical, quirky, sexy, humorous, poignant, scatological and mesmerizing. . . It helps to hang next to a great artist."

Best known for provocative depictions of the female body in materials as diverse as bronze, paper, and wax — both in anatomical fragments and in full figure — Kiki Smith has explored many subjects: religion, folklore, mythology, natural science, art history, and feminism. Intimate yet universal, visceral yet fragile, her art reveals the figure in frank, nonheroic terms, expressing both its vulnerability and its strength.

In addition to her work as a major sculptor, she is a prolific printmaker and photographer. Her work appears in such major museum collections as New York's Guggenheim, Whitney, and MoMA, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Smith lives and works in New York City.