Kiki Smith - Touch #1-6
American, born in Germany, b.1954
Touch #1-5, 2006
Set of six etchings with aquatint and drypoint, 30 x 22 inches
Edition 25/33
Harlan & Weaver Inc.

Alumni Gift

Even though Smith was born in Nuremberg, Germany, she is an important figure in the American feminist movement. Smith worked with her hands from a young age, quilting, knitting and sewing, as well as helping her father the architect, painter and sculptor Tony Smith with models for his sculptures. She was attracted early on to the materials she works in now. Themes in her work include undermining traditional erotic representations of women by male artists, birth and regeneration, and catholic allusions. She is most known for her sculpture work, but also works in varied mediums including printmaking. “Prints mimic what we are as humans: we are all the same and yet everyone is different. I think there's a spiritual power in repetition, a devotional quality, like saying rosaries." (1998)

Best known for her sculptures and prints that explore feminist themes, for years Smith had been considering ways to utilize flower imagery in her own work, but felt that she did not have a personal relationship with the subject. But when Smith's mother died in 2005, her home was filled with condolence bouquets that began to fade and wither. The prints are meditations on beauty and transience, a physical and emotional Touch that reference familial devotion. Smith began the prints by drawing the flowers, still lingering between life and death, on copper etching plates. She then took several photographs of the flowers, and used these as reference when working further on the plates.