Kiki Smith: Prints, Books, and Things (HC)
By Wendy Weitman
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This book is the most complete survey yet of Smith's printed art. Published to accompany an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in the winter of 2003-4, it documents her work in the medium, beginning with her first screen print, made in 1980, and includes works that were in progress as this book was being written. Also featured is an eight-page printed work that Smith created especially for this book. An innovative experimenter, Smith has investigated many kinds of printmaking, from traditional techniques such as etching and lithography to newer, simpler processes such as rubber stamp and photocopy, not to mention artist's books and multiples including blankets and fabric dolls. Kiki Smith: Prints, Books, and Things offers a crucial record of an under acknowledged side of Smith's work. In doing so, it argues powerfully for the importance of printmaking in contemporary art.
Kiki Smith is among the most significant American artists of her generation. Although she became known, in the 1980s, primarily as a sculptor, she is just as fluent in printmaking, which she considers an equally vital part of her work. In fact Smith has even said, "I could just make prints and be satisfied." The reader aware of her sculpture will find much to recognize in these works, with their imagery of the body, of animals and birds, and of the iconography of women, but her printed art develops these themes in ways unique to itself-as Wendy Weitman, Curator in the Museum's Department of Prints and Illustrated Books and the organizer of the exhibition, lucidly explains in a comprehensive essay. Includes 137 color plates, 16 color and 19 black and white illustrations.