Kiki Smith: Prints, Books, and Things

MoMA Audio: Special Exhibitions

Kiki Smith. Lucy's Daughters. 1992

Screenprint on handmade Nepalese paper
Composition: approximately 48 7/8 x 54 5/16" (124.1 x 138 cm)
Sheet: 50 x 63" (127 x 160 cm)
Publisher: unpublished
Printer: the artist Edition: few known variants
Collection of Alvin and Barbara Krakow, Boston
©Kiki Smith Audio courtesy of Acoustiguide

NARRATOR: This last gallery of the exhibition showcases a selection of Smith’s numerous images of women, including specific feminine characters from literature, the Bible and most recently, fairy tales. Lucy’s Daughters is printed and assembled much in the same way as All Souls, which we saw in the first gallery. The title refers to the popular name of an ancient hominid specimen. Curator Wendy Weitman says this portrayal of 'Lucy' reflects Smith's interest in gender.

WENDY WEITMAN: She's arguably the oldest woman that Kiki Smith has ever looked at. Based on a three million year old hominid that was discovered to be a woman. And she has made sort of an inverted family tree made exclusively of women.

It's a found image that she manipulated, Xeroxed it, over and over and over again until the image was quite degraded so you get a quite crude form. And as printed on these pieces of extraordinary Asian paper creates a very, very powerful I think statement about the potent role of women.

KIKI SMITH: There are two different Lucys. One is skeletal remains and then there's a theoretical Lucy, which was genetic; people could trace genetic coding between daughters to mother, daughters to mother back. And it said that we all had one mother in the north Sahara someplace, that we come from. And so, it's just making a kind of family tree like that. You know, if you started with one person and make multitudes.

12 / 17