Kiki Smith exhibition Toulouse France


We went on Holiday to france this year and visited Toulouse during our stay. They have an amazing gallery there called Les Abattoirs, which I have already visited before and I made a point of wanting to visit again this year.

I couldn’t believe my luck when the main exhibition during our stay was a joint exhibition between Tony, Kiki and Seton Smith. I didn’t know anything at all about Tony or Seton Smith but have found Kiki Smith’s work fascinating for a while now.

Tony Smith creates abstract minimal sculpture predominantly, though is also a Painter and architect. He was Seton and Kiki’s father and would have been 100 years old in 2012. To celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday an exhibition was held in Germany combining the work of all three of them and this was the inspiration for the exhibition in Toulouse for the Toulouse International Art Festival at Les Abattoirs, that I saw.

Seton Smith is a photographer who explores space without people. I found them a little bland and rather lacking. They didn’t move or inspire me particularly.

Kiki on the other hand I do find really inspirational. Drawing on themes from childhood in a symbolic way by referencing biblical or mythological figures. Her work is often very figurative and sometimes quite eerie and unusual, see above image. Within this exhibition though I was even more excited to see some of her textiles work…

A group of 12 hangings embroidered by hand with tiny black stitches, each one the same size but a different representation of the human nervous system? Vascular system? Lymphatic system? Each has been drawn in pencil first and the pencil marks are still visible underneath the stitches.


There are no explanations about this work but I feel she is exploring very similar topics to the ones I keep coming back to? The fragility of life and the networks and systems within us that keep us alive.

An interesting interview with Kiki Smith for Toulouse Art Festival



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