An interview with Kiki Smith conducted 2017 July 20 and August 16, by Christopher Lyon, for the Archives of American Art, at Smith's home and studio in New York, New York.<br /> Smith speaks of her approach to art as a means of investigating form, scale, and technique; her first printmaking experiences; her childhood in South Orange, New Jersey; her fascination with the human body and religious iconography; early exposure to art and artists through her father, Tony Smith; her involvement in Collaborative Projects, Inc.; the effect of her father's death on her artwork; her experimental art-making process; her first exhibitions in her mid-30s and 40s; her work in glass painting; the role of animals and pets in her life and artwork; her experiences with puppet theatre; the influence of illustrated books on her artwork; the influence of other artists such as Eva Hesse, Lee Bontecou, Frida Kahlo, and Nancy Spero on her artwork; the role of her femininity in her representations of bodies; her formative period of living and working in Berlin during the early 1980s; differences she has observed in the American and European art worlds; her experiences making sculptures in foundries; her experiences working with different gallerists; and her experiences working with four "generations" of assistants. Smith also recalls Malcolm McLaren, Vivienne Westwood, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Tuttle, Tom Otterness, Charlie Ahearn, Cara Perlman, Walter Robinson, Amy Taubin, Leslie Tonkonow, Joe Fawbush, Raimund Kummer, Geneviève Cadieux, Hermann Pitz, Brooke Alexander, Bill Goldston, Chuck Close, Barbara Krakow, Anthony d'Offay, Susan Dunne, Lorcan O'Neill, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Kiki Smith, 2017 July 20 and August 16. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Funded by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.
Kiki Smith (1954- ) is a sculptor, installation artist, and printmaker in New York, New York. Christopher Lyon (1949- ) is a writer in Brooklyn, New York.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001