new-york

Kiki Smith

Fawbush Gallery

Kiki Smith’s art finds the public within the private; it strips us down to our primal biological ingredients. In the mammoth ductlite iron Digestive System, 1988, the fragile terra cotta Ribs, 1987, or the delicately rendered Uterus Drawings, 1988, we escape the vulnerable, empty feeling of nakedness with the tacit understanding that there is yet something hidden, some deeper emotion or significance that cannot be exposed because it is deeper than our bare flesh and bones. These pieces are enigmatic precisely because their meanings, and even their raison d’être, are hermetically buried within layers of the artist’s personal associations. Like silent strangers who hypnotize us with their mute presence, they do not tell us why they have come to be. Most likely, Smith finds them beautiful indeed, for she seems rid of our culture’s guilt-ridden, puritanical body-filth ethic. Beyond her devotion

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