Kiki Smith, Neon Bow

1999

Kiki Smith is an American artist who works with many mediums. Her work explores embodiment and the natural world. Her Neon Bow hung for many years in Fruitmarket’s café. Affectionately referred to as ‘Kiki’, the work was witness to the many bustling events that took place in the café over the years, and has become a quietly iconic image of social life at Fruitmarket.

The work was acquired following Smith’s solo exhibition at the Fruitmarket in 1999, entitled Kiki Smith: You are the sunshine of my life is empty without you. This was Smith’s first major solo show in Scotland and marked a continued development from work explicitly based on the body to a more meditative and poetic evocation of humankind’s place in and relationship to the cosmos. Neon Bow was shown as part of this exhibition. Smith intended her neon arcs to evoke the halo of light surrounding God in Giotto’s depiction of the Last Judgement in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua (1306).

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