About This Artwork

Kiki Smith (American, born Germany 1954)
published by Universal Limited Art Editions

Banshee Pearls, 1991

Set of 12 lithographs printed in black and shades of gray on cream Japanese wove paper
570 x 780 mm

Restricted gift of Kaye and Howard Haas, 1992.11.1-12

Banshee Pearls is Smith's second lithographic work. Each of the twelve prints is composed of several photographic states of Smith's face that have been processed, altered, and recombined. Some have been rephotocopied until the subtleties of shadow are transformed into crude masks; others have been blown up beyond recognition. The prints, although created by photo-mechanical means, are intensely personal; they hark back to traditions based on mythic ritual in which each act of repetition is a new statement of respect and creation. In their repeated and tattered quality, the faces of Smith's prints become talismanic. She has pushed the snapshot into the discomforting realm of the relic.

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