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Kiki Smith


Combining sculpture and print, ‘Peacock’ is a papier mâché sculpture of a crouched female, hugging her knees in a self-protective pose. The woman’s head is slightly cocked as she ponders the prints of female genitalia, which are fanned out on the wall like a peacock’s tail. The prints are physically linked to her body by 28 umbilical-like threads of paper, making direct reference to the female reproductive cycle. In Smith’s print work, the visceral is often counterbalanced by an impulse toward the refined and the decorative, seen here in the use of fine handmade paper and in the delicate lines of the drawn jewelry which adorns the figure.

MediumPapier Mâché and Nepal paper with ink
Dimensions Unframed, 67.3 x 44.5 x 54.6 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 1997
Item NumberIMMA.784
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Kiki Smith, Peacock, 1994, Papier Mâché and Nepal paper with ink, Unframed, 67.3 x 44.5 x 54.6 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 1997

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Kiki Smith

Born in Germany, American sculptor and print maker Kiki Smith (born 1954) attended Hartford Art School, Connecticut. Influenced by a generation of female artists including Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse and Lee Bontecou, Smith uses paper, fabric, ceramics and glass to create figurative sculptural works which mediate the separations between the psychological and physical nature of the body. Smith has exhibited in America and Europe since the 1980s. A major retrospective of her work toured the US in 2005. Smith was awarded the Brooklyn Museum ‘Women in The Arts Award’ in 2009.
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We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.