Kiki Smith (American, b.1954)
Birth Place: Nuremberg (Mittelfranken, Bavaria, Germany)
Who is painter Kiki Smith?
Kiki Smith is a German-American sculpture, artist, and printmaker whose work often deals with gender, humanity, and our relationship to nature. Since 1976 she has been an active and prolific artist in the New York art scene, first as a member of Collaborative Projects, then later on her own in the 1990s. Her art takes place in several mediums, from super 9 films to printmaking posters and bespoke clothing, to sculpture. These works often explore a similar theme and resonate with a large audience.
Sculpture has been arguably Smith’s most important medium. She won widespread acclaim when her piece Homespun Tales was featured at the 51st Venice Biennale. She followed this with Lodestar (2010), which featured a number of free-standing stained glass works at the Pace Gallery. Her work has been featured at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Bard College, and countless others. She is the recipient of several important awards, including the Athena Award for Excellence in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is currently a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
What kind of art does Kiki Smith make?
Kiki Smith is a multidisciplinary artist whose mediums encompass film, printmaking, and sculpture. Perhaps best known for sculpture, almost all of Smith’s work deals with themes of mortality, the human body, gender, and our relationship to the natural world. Smith is the rare talent that excels at everything she does, her printmaking has won her the Athena award from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. Both the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney have large collections of Smith’s prints, especially from her Blue Prints series. Her sculptures often feature silicon bronze or forged steel and are centered around the female form. These sculptures have become highly sought after and are featured at UC San Diego, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and countless other important art institutions.
How did painter Kiki Smith get started?
Kiki Smith was born in 1954 in what was then known as West Germany. Her parents were famed artist Tony Smith and actress Jane Lawrence. They moved from Germany to New Jersey while Kiki was still an infant. From an early age, Smith was enamored with her father’s geometric sculptures. This, combined with her education in the Catholic Church, became an inspiration for Smith’s future work. She attended Hartford Art School, then moved to New York City in 1976. It was there that she would join Collaborative Projects, a radical artist collective that came to prominence because of Smith’s work. In the 1980s she would work for a short time as an EMT, where she learned how to sculpt body parts, then the entire human figure. She lists her father and sister’s deaths in 1980 as another large source of inspiration that has carried her throughout a career that’s lasted for nearly 50 years.
How much are Kiki Smith’s art pieces worth?
Kiki Smith pieces have a wide range of value, from around a thousand dollars for minor work to nearly $300,000 for a major one. The most ever paid at auction for a Kiki Smith piece is $296,000 for the mixed-media work Untitled (Butterfly) (1994) which sold on May 10th, 2006. This is hardly an outlier, Smith has had four different pieces sell for $250,000 or higher since the start of the 21st century. Her pieces are sought by both casual and advanced art collectors, making it a great investment when they come available at auction.
Where to buy Kiki Smith pieces for sale?
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How to value Kiki Smith art?
The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services department.
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