B. 1954 Unlike many artists of her generation, Kiki Smith did not study art in an academic setting. Instead, she learned by participating in Collaborative Projects (Colab), a New York-based cooperative that in the mid 1970s featured an active membership of over forty artists. Colab's philosophy of unorthodox methods and materials can be seen in Smith's use of doilies, glitter, string, and construction paper, and in her penchant for craft oriented processes such as Xerography and sewing.
Smith began making sculptures and drawings that isolated fluids, veins, skin, bones, sex organs, or hair into self-sufficient fragments. More recently, she has diversified her conceptual and technical approach to figuration, creating life-sized figures in a host of traditional and unconventional materials. Smith received the first of many one-person exhibitions in New York at Fawbush Gallery (1988); in 1990 Smith's work was the focus of the Museum of Modern Art's Projects series. Since then, she has exhibited internationally, participating in the Whitney Museum of American Art's Biennial Exhibition (1991 and 1993), and has received one-person exhibitions at Geneva's Centre d'Arte Contemporaine (1990), Amsterdam's Institute for Contemporary Art (1991), Denmark's Louisiana Museum (1993), and London's Whitechapel Art Gallery (1994). Bill Goldston invited Smith to print at ULAE in 1989, and she has worked in a variety of media including etching, Xerox transfer, mixed construction, photogravure and lithography.