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Press Release

Kiki Smith

A Cautionary Tale

November 3 – December 22, 2005


John Berggruen Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition of new sculpture and drawings by New York-based artist, Kiki Smith. The reception for the artist will be on Thursday, November 17th from 5:30-7:30pm.


This is Smith's second exhibition at John Berggruen Gallery, the previous one being in 2000. For the current installation, she has made two life-size bronze sculptures of female figures: one standing, guarding a flowering bush behind her; the other reclining with bent knees, posing on a bed of earth. Also on exhibit, are bronze laser-cut drawings including Sleeping in a Thicket, collaged drawings of female faces on Nepal paper, and Untitled (Flower Drawings) depicting mulberries and keys made with her own blood, referencing the classic fairly tale- Bluebeard. Principal themes in Smith's oeuvre explore life, death, resurrection, and rebirth.


Born in Nuremburg, Germany in 1954, Kiki Smith began her artistic career by participating in COLAB (Collaborative Projects), a New York-based cooperative that consisted of over forty artists in the mid-Seventies. Smith's early career included solo exhibitions at the Dallas Museum of Art (1989), the MAK Galerie (Vienna, 1991), the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebaek, Denmark) and the Fawbush Gallery, New York.


A traveling retrospective, organized by the Walker Art Center, of Smith's work- Kiki Smith: A Gathering, 1980-2005, is at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art at the same time as the current exhibition at the John Berggruen Gallery. Other recent solo exhibitions have included: Convergence at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Directions – Kiki Smith: Night at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.; and Invention/Intervention: Kiki Smith and the Museums at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. Kiki Smith's work can be found in over thirty-five national and international public collections.