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Kiki Smith, My Blue Lake (1995)


Walker Art Center



Institution Walker Art Center
Known for her sculptures, drawings, and prints that focus on the human body as subject, Kiki Smith has often used herself as material for her work. After making a number of prints that included depictions of various parts of her own body, the artist became interested in creating a picture that showed the skin of the body as a flat image, similar to the way a map becomes a flattened version of the globe. Working with printers at the workshop Universal Limited Art Editions, Smith gained access to a special camera (of which there are only three) at the Royal Academy at the British Museum in London. Originally designed for use in geological surveys, the camera can produce a 360ยบ image. To make it, Smith spent a week at the British Museum being photographed on a rotating table, finally emerging with a negative that could be made into a photogravure printing plate. In making the final print, Smith added marks via the process of lithography, and hand-colored the images as they emerged from the press. The resulting print with its red and blue fields of color reveals an unusual self portrait that evokes a blending of landscape and the human form.
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Type: Commentary, object label
Source: Label text for Kiki Smith, My Blue Lake (1995), from the exhibition State of the Art: Recent Gifts and Acquisitions, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, July 22-October 8, 2000.
Rights: Copyright 2000 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: March 1, 2009