Meditations on mortality gain gravitas when we are faced with the finite nature of our mothers and fathers. The decline and death of a parent truly brings home the bittersweet fleetingness of our time here together. This is the driving theme in a body of work by American artist Kiki Smith, which will be shown at Memorial Art Gallery, beginning this week.
On Friday, May 24, Memorial Art Gallery's Lockhart Gallery (500 University Ave.) will open a new exhibition, "Mortal: A Portfolio of Woodcuts by Kiki Smith," which explores the final stages of life of the artist's mother. Simple, sparse lines etched into the wood form the fragile negative-space portraits of Smith's precious kin; the gentle countenance of this elder is swathed in an undeniable field of inky darkness.
The 2007 self-published portfolio of a dozen woodcut prints by Smith was a 2011 gift of the Gallery Council to the gallery, and this exhibition marks the first time that the entire suite of prints will be shown at MAG. "Mortal" remains on view through August 25, and admission is included in general admission to the gallery ($5-$12). For more information, call 276-8900 or visit mag.rochester.edu.