Skip to main content

Smith, Kiki

Kiki Smith, 1954–, American sculptor and printmaker, b. Nuremberg, Germany. The daughter of sculptor Tony Smith, she grew up in New Jersey and settled in New York City in 1976. Prolific and essentially self taught, she has been acclaimed as one of the most significant artists of her generation. Her audacious yet often delicate figurative works are made in many media, including bronze, aluminium, wax, paper, glass, ceramic, and fabric. Smith has been fascinated with the human body, as a functioning unit and a political object. Much of her 1980s work portrays external and internal parts of the body (feet, breasts, organs, fluids), some bearing signs of mortality and decay, some evoking the ravages of AIDS. Her later sculptures are mainly bodies in the round, often life-sized and under some duress; some are flayed, some dead. Others are frank in their concern with bodily functions, e.g. Pee Body (1992), some, e.g., her St. Genevieve series, mirror her Roman Catholic background, and others reflect her concerns with storytelling, myth, and the feminine, as in her sculptures and prints of the Red Riding Hood story or her monumental witches on pyres. Smith's more recent works frequently portray birds and other animals—often interacting with human figures—as well as flowers.

See W. Weitman, Kiki Smith: Prints, Books and Things (2003), H. Posner and C. Lyon, Kiki Smith (2005), and S. Engberg et al., Kiki Smith: A Gathering, 1980–2005 (2006).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Smith, Kiki." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 15 Dec. 2018 <>.

"Smith, Kiki." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (December 15, 2018).

"Smith, Kiki." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 15, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.