Kiki Smith is known for her ongoing engagement with bodily matter and the female form, often through fairy tales and folklore. The title of the set to which this lithograph belongs—Banshee Pearls—combines terms with very different connotations. Pearls have long signified upper-class elegance and femininity, while a banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology whose chilling screams and ghostlike pallor are omens of death. The word banshee is still used to describe women or girls who are seen as wild or inappropriately behaved. Here, repeating deathlike masks of a woman’s face ask the viewer to consider how female power
relates to beauty and the grotesque.
[Text not currently in gallery]
22 1/2 x 30 1/2 in. (57.2 x 77.5 cm) (show scale)
Emily Winthrop Miles Fund
This item is not on view
Kiki Smith (American, born Germany, 1954). [Untitled], 1991. Lithograph, 22 1/2 x 30 1/2 in. (57.2 x 77.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Emily Winthrop Miles Fund, 1999.17.3. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1999.17.3_PS9.jpg)
overall, 1999.17.3_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
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© Kiki Smith
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