Kiki Smith, Evening Star, 2023 © Kiki Smith
On view from May 17 to June 24, the presentation, titled Spring Light, brings together new and recent sculptures, drawings, and prints that explore the phenomenological qualities of water, the sky, and the cosmos. This exhibition—which follows Smith’s recent solo exhibition at the Seoul Museum of Art and marks her first solo show at Pace’s Seoul gallery—reflects the artist’s longstanding artistic exploration of the relationships between humans and natural world.
Since the 1980s, Smith has nurtured a multidisciplinary practice spanning sculpture, printmaking, photography, drawing, and textile work. As part of her experimentations across mediums and materials, the artist has drawn inspiration from a wide range of histories, visual cultures, and mythologies to meditate on embodied experiences of nature. Smith’s exhibition with Pace in Seoul focuses on the ecstatic energy and illimitable power of nature in full bloom.
The show begins on the second floor of the gallery, where works examining the makeup of the cosmos is on view. In this gallery, moons, constellations, and nebulae abound, creating otherworldly visions that transcend the boundaries of the space-time continuum. Smith’s works on paper feature lyrical, poetic depictions of far-away stars, gaseous bodies, and galaxies. Her aluminium sculpture Starlight (2022)—along with her large-scale 2011 bronze work The Owls— also figure prominently in this space. Together, these works on paper and various sculptures invite viewers into Smith’s mystical world.
On the gallery’s third floor, the exhibition brings visitors back to Earth with works centered on water. The pieces presented in this space highlight Smith’s ability to work across different media, from silver sculpture to drawing and cyanotype printing. Water has been an enduring interest and subject for Smith, who recently unveiled an 80-foot-long mosaic titled River Light, one of several works commissioned for the new Grand Central Madison station in New York. Her work on paper River (2020), included in her show in Seoul, emulates water’s flowing, undulating movements and abstract plays of light on its surface. Also among the artworks on this floor is the new bronze sculpture Dark Water (2023), in which the vitality of water is represented as a divine presence.
About the Artist
Kiki Smith (American, b. 1954, Nuremberg, Germany) is recognized for her multidisciplinary practice through which she explores embodiment and the natural world. The body, mortality, regeneration, gender politics, as well as the interconnection of spirituality and the natural world are observed through a postmodern lens. Her expansive practice resonates personally and universally, manifesting in sculpture, glassmaking, printmaking, watercolor, photography, and textile, among other production methods. Drawn to the cogency of repetition in narratives and symbolic representations, For immediate release much of Smith’s work is inspired by the visual culture of the past, spanning scientific anatomical renderings from the eighteenth century to the abject imagery of relics, memento mori, folklore, mythology, Byzantine iconography, and medieval altarpieces.
About the Exhibition
Dates: May 17 – Jun 24, 2023
Location: Pace Seoul
Address: 267 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Courtesy Pace Gallery.