Feb 26, 2010

Kiki Smith "Sojourn" at the Brooklyn Museum

Sometimes there are shows that just make me feel good about art in general. That make me feel, some people are just gifted with a beautiful, creative spirit and don't let anything stop them from making beautiful, transcendental objects and experiences, who continually proliferate amazing ideas and things. Kiki Smith at the Brooklyn Museum is one of those shows. Consisting of about 5 rooms of installation, drawing, and sculpture, Smith presented themes of birth, life, and death, and specifically, these ideas as a woman. Drawing upon Prudence Punderson's The First, Second and Last Scene of Mortality, an 18th century needlepoint work depicting birth, life, and death of a woman, Smith examined the strength of our gender through her drawings and sculptural forms. In a sculpture of a woman in an ethereal nightgown, the body is powerful, beautiful, and positioned in a way that causes the figure to appear as if floating. Her strong thighs and thick arms are beautifully formed, sensual, and powerful. I think anybody with daughters would benefit greatly from these pieces. In addition to the main installation rooms, Smith also created site specific installations in several of the period rooms, including a sculpture of two women holding a needlepoint piece, together in a darkened Victorian parlor, a ghostly but dynamic project playing upon them, of leaves, of flowers, of lace, of time passing both by and through them.

Lastly, I highly recommend the film that accompanies the exhibition. Following Smith's installation and process for a house museum in Venice, it is a truly inspiring portrait of a thoughtful, unique artist who works reactively to the space she is exhibiting in, as well as her own flow of thoughts and poetry.

No comments: