Kiki Smith, Untitled (Pink Bosoms), 1990–92, 4 screenprints with gouache on paper, each 20 11 /16 x 32 11/16".

Giuseppe Penone/Kiki Smith

Various Venues

Fable I: “Giuseppe Penone: The Imprint of Drawing.” In the anteroom of the Drawing Center, a giant barred the way, buried up to his eyebrows, from which his colossal forehead, its worry lines traced by thorns, emerged aboveground. Never mind the crown of thorns; for me that gargantuan tracery called up Briar Rose’s thicket. For it was hard to see the forehead for the forest of finger-pricking points. Indeed, it wasn’t until later that I knew Penone’s Spine d’acacia (fronte) (Acacia Thorns [Forehead]), 2002, was a forehead at all. Stand to the side, as I did, approaching gingerly, and all you saw was that spiky copse, daring you to touch, to feel instead of see, and then fall under the somatic sway of a world in which you were suddenly so impossibly small as to be blind to the gestalt of everything around you. You became like a fly, crawling across a spine-sprouting surface so expansive as

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 2004 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.