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/ Exhibitions / Memento Mori: Death and the Art of Living, Larassa Kabel

Memento Mori: Death and the Art of Living, Larassa Kabel

June 2, 2023 – November 4, 2023(This exhibition has passed.)

Mayer Gallery

Exploring that which makes us most uncomfortable, Larassa Kabel explores the emotional and intellectual space between life and death, love and loss. Through drawing, painting, performance, and sculpture, she confronts our view of ourselves “outside of Nature” and our desire to distance ourselves from our mortality.

Larassa Kabel, Tomb

Larassa Kabel, Tomb

Artist statement

“I am an interdisciplinary memento mori (“remember death”) artist. I believe that by factoring in the limits of our time on earth, we will be more aware of ourselves, the ways we spend our time, who we share our lives with, and how we treat others and our environment.  I am interested in how mortality has been addressed on a micro and macro level over time and by various cultures.  

I think and create at a walking pace. Every morning I walk at dawn, and with each stride I am reflecting and making connections between myself, my imagination, my community, and nature. My work is a form of maximalist minimalism: I try to frame simple, revelatory questions and then create complicated work that often requires careful observation, the long-term collection of materials, and high levels of skill to realize. Some of the projects even require coordination with the natural rhythms of the seasons. It is highly detailed and labor intensive, but I find the process of creating to be extremely meditative. I am happiest immersed in long term projects.”

 – Larassa Kabel

About the artist

Requiem Dogs, photo credit Ben Easter

Requiem Dogs, photo credit Ben Easter

Larassa Kabel was born in 1970 and received her BFA with honors in 1992 from Iowa State University with an emphasis in fibers. She currently lives in Des Moines, IA where she works as a fulltime artist and independent curator. She has received numerous grants and awards including an Iowa Arts Council Fellowship. Her work has been shown nationally and is in several corporate and private collections including the Des Moines Art Center, the White House Collection, and the World Food Prize.