IF YOU MISSED THE OCCASION TO VISIT THE INCREDIBLE, MYTHOLOGICAL WORLD OF KIKI SMITH, DISCOVER HERE HER “WHAT I SAW ON THE ROAD” AT PALAZZO PITTI (GALLERIE DEGLI UFFIZI)
Text by: Fiammetta Cesana
After hosting Maria Lassnig’s “Woman Power” and Maria Lai’s “Il filo e l’infinito”, the Galleria degli Uffizi continues the cycle of women talents with the project “What I Saw on the Road” by Kiki Smith. For the first time in a solo exhibition in Italy, the German-born, American artist presented at Palazzo Pitti’s Andito degli Angiolini a wide collection of works, including tapestries, small sculptures, drawings and lithographs, which introduces us in a fantastic world of mythological creatures living the nature and the whole cosmos.
As Smith said, “We are part of the natural world and our identity is completely attached to our relationship to our habitat and animals” (2014). Being focused for years on the study of the body, especially on the fragility of female body and confronting with the theme of AIDS and gender, today her imaginative soul brings her to wander through different lands and times, “cannibalizing”, as she says, to create her own (universal) forms, characters, and narrations.
The project displayed at Palazzo Pitti investigates the interconnection between the body and the surrounding environment; and what she saw and makes us see “on the road” is a universe of opposing forces and cultural references, of material presence and spirituality, anthropomorphic and legendary animals, religious faith and fairytale… A bit resembling a contemporary Mati Klarwein’s 1960s “Grain of Sand”, the “undefined religion of everything” evoked by Smith’s stories actually reveal a strong and coherent bond between the existence of the creatures and that of the intricate world they are part of, inevitably reflecting our own vulnerability over the complexity of life.
“The extremely elegant grace of Kiki’s latest works, whose often fragile and precious matter is an effective metaphor of the human – especially the female – condition, has the loftily ethical aim of recreating unity and harmony in what is so often a world of brutality and discord, unleashing a deeply revolutionary energy: hers is the vocabulary of a new, unexpected and disconcerting pietas”. – Gallerie degli Uffizi Director Eike Schmidt said
During the 90s and early 2000s, Kiki Smith had several solo exhibitions in different major international museums, including Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC, and St. Louis Art Museum, and she participated at four Venice Biennale. In 2018 she took part at Frieze Art Fair in London.
“What I Saw on the Road”
Palazzo Pitti, Gallerie degli Uffizi
From February 16 to June 2