Kiki Smith’s Constellation is a meditation on the infinity of space and our human desire to know and tame it – to make it our own. In this room-sized installation, the artist brings the vast dome of heaven down to earth, where cast glass animals and stars sparkle and glow at our feet. Arranged upon a plane of night-blue Nepal paper, these miniature symbols of distant constellations awaken wonder and remind us of the mystery that compelled ancient astronomers to chart and name them.
The interrelatedness of nature and its parts is a pervasive theme in Kiki Smith’s work. She explores the human and animal, the celestial and earthly, the macrocosm and microcosm. Like the poet, mystic, or natural philosopher, she approaches our universe with reverence. Like the contemporary scientist, she is driven by a desire to understand.
Free admission, no exhibition tickets required.
Image caption: Kiki Smith, Constellation, 1996. 26 various glass animal units, 630 bronze scat units and 67 glass star units, installation dimensions variable. © Kiki Smith, Courtesy PaceWildenstein, New York. Photo by: Ellen Page Wilson / Courtesy PaceWildenstein, New York.