new-york

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

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