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Oklahoma State University

Kiki Smith and Paper: The Body, the Muse, and the Spirit

Click the photo to scroll to the next one.  Photos by Phil Shockley. See more here.

Heralded as one of the most distinctive voices of her generation, Kiki Smith has been crafting captivating, challenging art for more than 35 years – from her early wax and plaster female figures to colorful wall-size tapestries of women and animals in nature. Birth, death, and regeneration are recurring themes – the human condition from its most vulnerable to its most enduring. Although Smith has ventured into an array of mediums, the one material she has most consistently engaged is paper, manipulating it for drawings, prints, and even sculpture.  

Highlighting the artist’s passion for paper, this exhibition explores Kiki Smith’s perspective on the human body, and the female form in particular, a figure that has remained the foundation of her art.

Curated by Wendy Weitman, this is the third in our New York Project, a series of exhibitions bringing the work of major New York artists to Oklahoma.


WATCH: An Afternoon with Kiki Smith

This panel discussion on Friday, Sept. 22, explored Smith's body of work and emphasis on the female form. Participants include Kiki Smith, artist; Jennifer Borland, associate professor at Oklahoma State University; and Wendy Weitman, independent curator. The panel was moderated by Mark White, the Wylodean and Bill Saxon Director of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. Watch the full video below or watch on by clicking here.


Additional Resources

For links to videos, articles, resources for educators, visiting artist information, and more: click here.

We would like to thank our faculty partner, Dr. Jennifer Borland, for making use of our permanent collection. The students of her Gender in Visual Culture class engaged with the collection and exhibition throughout the semester. To view the results of the student's research, please visit:


Related Programs

Free Community Workshop (Alternative Printmaking)
Sept. 8 | Participants will begin at the museum with a tour of Kiki Smith and Paper before heading to the OSU Insect Adventure to draw from the collection. Afterward, we'll move to the Stillwater Center for the Arts to explore a variety of alternative printmaking processes. 9 am to 6 pm. 

2nd Saturday
Sept. 9 | On the second Saturday of every month, the museum provides free, hands-on art activities for visitors of all ages and abilities. 11 am to 3 pm.  THIS MONTH: visiting artist Tori Tasch will help visitors create paper bowls inspired by Kiki Smith's use of handmade paper.  

Sept. 21 | 5 to 7 pm

An Afternoon with Kiki Smith
Sept. 22 | Internationally known artist Kiki Smith makes a special appearance in Oklahoma to participate in a panel discussion about her body of work and emphasis on the female form. 3 pm. SPECIAL LOCATION: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (Norman)

Unfamiliar Butterfly
Sept. 23 | Visiting artist Wendy Jehlen will perform an interpretive dance inspired by the work of Kiki Smith. SPECIAL LOCATION: 21c Museum Hotel in Oklahoma City.

Sept. 27 | Visiting artist Wendy Jehlen will perform an interpretive dance inspired by the work of Kiki Smith. SPECIAL LOCATION: Stillwater Community Center, Houston Theater, 315 W 8th Ave, Stillwater, OK. 7:30 pm.

Sept. 28 | Explore the use of the body as vehicle for drawing in space. Led by visiting artist Wendy Jehlen. SPECIAL LOCATION: Stillwater Center for the Arts. 6 pm.

Lunch + Learn: Cristina Gonzalez
Oct. 26 | Cristina Gonzalez will discuss the relationship between "The Blue Feet" by Kiki Smith and the work of Sister Juana Inéz de la Cruz. 12:45 pm.

Lunch + Learn: Students from Gender and Visual Culture 
Nov. 10 | University students will discuss the works of "Femfolio" and "Kiki Smith and Paper." 12 pm.


Media Kit

Press Releases and Info Sheets



Major support for the exhibition and catalogue is provided by Jim Vallion, Bill Goldston, Malinda and Dick Fischer, OSU Museum of Art Founding Patrons and Charter Members, OSU Museum of Art Advocates, and the OSU/A&M Board of Regents. 

On view: 
August 08, 2017 to December 02, 2017