Kiki Smith: Prints, Books, and Things

MoMA Audio: Special Exhibitions

Kiki Smith. Ginzer. 2000

Etching, aquatint, and drypoint on mold-made Hahnmühle paper
Plate: 18 x 24" (45.7 x 61cm)
Sheet: 22 1/2 x 31" (57.2 x 78.7 cm)
Publisher and printer: Harlan & Weaver Inc., New York
Edition: 24
Courtesy Harlan & Weaver, Inc., New York
©Kiki Smith Audio courtesty of Acoustiguide

NARRATOR: Like her prints of isolated body parts, Ginzer, the cat, floats, alone, in the empty space of the page. Smith’s mastery of etching is obvious here in her refined depiction of this cat's fur. Ginzer is one of a series of works the artist made at the workshop Harlan and Weaver on New York City’s Canal Street.

The story behind this piece is a bit unsettling. Ginzer was Kiki Smith’s pet. After Ginzer died, [but before she buried him], Smith put him in a blanket and rode her bicycle to the print workshop. Similar to how she used her own body in making earlier prints like the etching Sueno, she placed the cat on the plate and traced his outline directly. Later, she returned to the delicate process of filling in the form and texture that you see here.

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