New York

Kiki Smith

Pace Wildenstein

Despite the fashionable critical discourse about the body that has surrounded her work in the past few years, in many ways Kiki Smith remains an old-fashioned sculptor whose work invites comparison to that of Medardo Rosso and Rodin—if not to more strictly academic 19th-century sculptors. One need only recall Paul Thek’s rather gruesome corporeal fantasies to recognize that Smith’s dissolutions of the body are relatively tame, her sculptures essentially conservative.

Even when larger-than-life, her figures, with their mottled, handworked surfaces and tenuous poses, are always human in scale. In some ways her most deeply satisfying works are the smallest: in this exhibition, two blue, hand blown glass eggs, embedded in a wall, peered out like a pair of eyes, transforming that broad white expanse into a kind of face. Working against her tendency to exploit the most intimate formal interactions,

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