Often incorporating ready-mades, Kiff Slemmons’ jewelry contains multiple layers of both substance and meaning, sometimes manifested by witty visual puns. Informed by Surrealist and Dada concepts and iconography, Constructivist structure and composition, and the evocative musings of German writer W. G. Sebald, she possesses a remarkable intelligence, along with, as she puts it, “obsessive observation,” clearly manifested in the cultural relevance of her output. Self-taught in metalsmithing, Slemmons holds a BA from University of Iowa, where she majored in art and French, studying for a year at the Sorbonne in Paris. An American jeweler of international repute, in 2000 she enjoyed a mid-career retrospective, The Thought of Things: Jewelry by Kiff Slemmons, organized by the Palo Alto Art Center in California.
Slemmons is represented in numerous museum collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Arts and Design in New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Tacoma Art Museum; Mint Museum, Charlotte; Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House; and Victoria and Albert Museum, London.