Kiki Smith, Little Meadow, 1999. Courtesy of Pace Prints.

Kiki Smith: Flowers

After the death of her mother Jane in 2005, Kiki Smith found herself surrounded by bouquets of condolence flowers inside her Lower East Side apartment. In her grief, Smith began to see the flowers as striking representations of her mother herself, once a Broadway actress and opera singer. Drawing them in various states of bloom and decay, Smith’s flowers (most often lilies, roses, daisies, and sunflowers) represent the ephemeral qualities of life and beauty, here one moment and gone the next. Early drawings ceded to etchings and prints, as Smith finds a sense of spirituality in the repetitive nature of printmaking. “Prints mimic what we are as humans,” Smith said in 1998. “We are all the same and yet everyone is different. I think there’s …

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