Lodestar, Kiki Smith’s current show at Pace Gallery in Chelsea, features paintings on glass panels in black metal frames, arranged as a grouping that tells of the cycle of a woman’s life. The images run from young to old to the encoffined, often posed alone or sitting. Images of a single tree and bare branch enhance the sense of isolation. The monochromatic palette has a milky glow and the etched and rough style creates an earthy rather than ethereal environment.
Certainly the grouping seen as a whole is more powerful than any one image. I wan’t sure I liked Smith, but walking through this exhibition yesterday felt contemplative and rather touching. Perhaps this was merely because there were few people around on a Wednesday morning, but I greatly enjoyed having the run of the place and appreciated her work the better for it. Lodestar runs concurrently with Smith’s exhibition Sojourn at the Brooklyn Museum, but only through June 17–so hurry if you want to catch it.