Widely considered to be one of the most engaging and fascinating artists of our time, Kiki Smith has, over the past 25 years, developed into a major figure in the world of 21st-century art. Her subject matter is as wide-ranging as the materials her work has encompassed. In the 1980s, with her earliest figural sculptures in plaster, glass, and wax, Smith developed an elaborate vocabulary around the forms and functions of the body and its metaphorical as well as physical relationship to society. By the early 1990s, she began to engage with themes of a more religious and mythological nature. Her re-imaginings of biblical women as inhabitants of physical bodies–rather than as abstract bearers of doctrine–led her to make series of sculptural works related to the figure of the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, Lilith, and others. The artist has more recently considered fairy tales and folk narratives as well as nurturing a growing menagerie of work concerned with animals and the natural world. Smith has now earned a considerable reputation as a virtuoso printmaker and draftsperson, and as a re-inventor of the startling sculptural possibitilies present in materials ranging from paper and resin to bronze and porcelain. Organized by the Walker Art Center with the full collaboration of the artist, the exhibition Kiki Smith represents the artist¹s first full-scale touring museum retrospective in the United States. This accompanying exhibition catalogue is a comprensive volume that includes critical essays, an interview, a generous four-color plate section, a complete exhibition history and bibliography, and the first-ever comprehensive illustrated chronology of Smith¹s life and work. The first Kiki Smith piece that I remember seeing created a visceral shock . . . I still remember the intensity of the feeling, as though the bottom had suddenly dropped out of the sedate world of the gallery and my own place within it; to put it more physically, I felt it in my guts. –Linda Nochlin I think making beautiful things is important. But often what’s first considered ugly is beautiful, too. When I was younger, I was always trying to incorporate the ugliness. Because it’s the same thing. It’s incorporating what is shunned, outside, but incorporating it into a space of possibility, like that of beauty.