Sentimental, serious art?

Can sentimentality, an "art-world unmentionable," be a serious art subject? The New York Times (free registration required) takes stock of the work of artist Kiki Smith. I'm not familiar with Ms. Smith - my aesthetic tastes run to studio furniture - but the idea that a respected creator might take sentimentality for her subject grabbed my attention, because, honestly, this was the first thing to come to my mind.

The Whitney Museum has more on the artist.