Kiki Smith (b. 1954, Germany) is a West-German born American artist who explores themes relating to the human condition through various media such as tattooing, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, textile, and photography. Daughter of the famous sculptor and architect Tony Smith, she grew up surrounded by the leading abstract painters of the time. For her this meant that figuration was unknown and exciting territory, and she continues exploring her topics through a figurative approach. In her early career, the New York based artist confronted subjects such as gender, sexuality and disease in her work, addressing questions concerning what it means to be situated in a body through depicting human organs, bodily fluids, and cellular structures. In her later work, Smith has shifted her focus towards how we as humans relate to and situate ourselves in nature. Through the examination and depiction of various animals, sometimes in interaction with humans, and sometimes based on narrative tropes from classical mythology and folk tales, Smith has expanded her exploration of topics relating to life, death, and resurrection.

Smith’s work has been exhibited around the world in almost 150 solo exhibitions, including five Venice Biennales. Today, her work is held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Walker Art Center, among others.