About This Artwork

Kiki Smith
American, born Germany, 1954

Untitled, 1988

Ink on gampi paper
121.9 x 96.5 x 17.8 cm (48 x 38 x 7 in.)

Gift of Lannan Foundation, 1997.121

Kiki Smith has been instrumental in shifting the abstract rhetoric of the human form in art into a grounded conversation about the body, particularly as it is defined in social and political terms. Her figurative sculpture examines the physical and spiritual nature of the body by presenting it in an abject, fragmented, and damaged state. Untitled, which is one of only a few sculptures by Smith that investigates the male form, is executed in tissue-thin gampi paper—a fragile and ephemeral material—to convey the porous and permeable quality of skin. Here, as in much of Smith’s work, the artist engaged viewers in issues of individual and collective health and disease, heroization and victimization, and life and death.

Interpretive Resources

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