Alice in process…

Instead of the question “Who is Alice?” there are now paths leading to what Alice might come to be…

3 Nov 2010

Alice by Kiki Smith

"Engaging the most urgent social and spiritual issues of our day, the powerfully expressive work of artist Kiki Smith has helped restore the human body to a central place in contemporary art. Born in 1954, she created in the 1980s individual artworks and stunning installations, in mediums ranging from paper and glass to cast bronze, that used anatomy as a starting point for a broad exploration of the cultural, political, and social meanings of the human body. In the 1990s, having emerged as a leading artist of her generation, she extended her inquiry to the natural world. Direct and accessible, populist in the best sense, Smith's work engages the viewer in a sometimes viscerally disturbing way."


"Over the past 25 years, Kiki Smith has used an exceptionally wide array of materials to explore a range of subject matter; her sources of inspiration have included religion, folklore, myth, literature, and natural science. Often examining the human condition through the metaphor of the body, in all its strengths and frailties, Smith has been remarkably innovative in the arena of figurative sculpture. She is also one of the most extraordinarily accomplished printmakers at work today."

" Direct and accessible, Smith's expressive art engages social and cultural issues in a sometimes viscerally disturbing way. In her recent work, Smith has extended these themes, incorporating rites of passage and cycles of life, death, and rebirth through an iconography of animal, human, and fairy tale imagery."


Kiki Smith
"Come Away From Her" After Lewis Carroll2004

Lewis Carroll

" ...  O caráter primitivo dos desenhos de Carroll produz certo desconforto, é como um elogio ao estranho, em grande parte irresistivelmente ligado ao espírito do texto. A Alice de Tenniel, por outro lado, ainda que seja cativante, é mais comportada, convencional, fria, hierática e distante do que acontece ao seu redor. Já a de Carroll exala uma sinistra melancolia, ao mesmo tempo que nos encara com olhares perturbadores e enigmáticos. Seus desenhos são fascinantes pela espontaneidade, numa delimitação incomum e onírica do mundo...."

Adriana Peliano
read the whole text HERE

"... The primitive style of Carroll's drawings produces discomfort, is a compliment to strangeness, irresistibly connected to the spirit of the text. Tenniel's Alice, on the other hand, although it is captivating, is more conventional, cold , hieratic and distant from what happens around her. Carroll's illustrations exudes a sinister melancholy at the same time we face with looks disturbing and puzzling eyes. Their designs are fascinating, presenting an unusual and dreamlike vision of the world ...."

Kiki Smith

Lewis Carroll

Kiki Smith é uma artista genial que a muitos anos investiga os limites do corpo e as representações do feminino em múltiplos campos da cultura. Ao recriar Alice, não foi a toa que ela começou por dois desenhos de Lewis Carroll para o manuscrito das "Aventuras de Alice no subterrâneo". Essas são ilustrações que não apresentam o rigor técnico das ilustrações posteriores de John Tenniel, mas que enfatizam as experiências corporais da menina em um mundo estranho, cercada por animais híbridos e ambíguos. As experiências da menina têm muito mais potência e intensidade.

Kiki Smith is a brilliant artist who for many years investigates the limits of the body and the representation of women in multiple fields of culture. When she recreated Alice was not a coincidence that she started by two drawings of Lewis Carroll to the manuscript of "Alice's Adventures under Ground." These are illustrations that do not have the technical accuracy of Tenniel's pictures, but emphasize the bodily experiences of the girl in a strange world, surrounded by animal hybrid and ambiguous. The girl's experiences have much more power and intensity.

"In Kiki Smith's prints based on fairytales, childhood vulnerability and innocence like Alice's can be imbued with a sense of the sexual awakening that accompanies adolescence, and the animals sometimes shown with young girls suggest underlying forces of nature. Here we witness a cryptic scene, as Alice watches winged forms, some of them with incongruous limbs, fly away from her."

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