UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art

Maternal Instincts (for BRee)

Kyla Hansen
"Maternal Instincts (for BRee)", 2018
Ceramic stoneware, lights.
Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art Collection
Gift of the artist

Kyla Hansen’s title points us towards two people she was thinking about when she made this piece: her sister Bri, and Ree Morton, an artist who created an influential body of postminimalist feminist work between 1968 and her death in a car crash in 1977 at the age of forty. The forms in Hansen’s work make clear references to Morton’s Maternal Instincts, a 1974 wall-mounted sculpture that incorporates a hoop-shaped banner draped above the initials of Morton’s three children illuminated with lightbulbs.

The parallels and contrasts between her recently-pregnant sister’s physical transformation and the psychologically transformative events in her own life inspired Hansen to include a visual reference to a 2018 short story about the different metamorphoses of two women. Written by Amy Bonnaffons and titled Horse, the story is narrated by a woman who turns herself into a horse at the same time that her friend is trying to become a mother. Hansen says she was creating the work at a time when she had decided that it was important “to cultivate and trust one’s own instinct. ... Not changing one’s nature but recognizing something that had always been there.” (DKS)

To watch our Virtual Tour of this piece, please click on the following link: Barrick Museum of Art Virtual Tour - Kyla Hansen.

  • Created: 2018
  • Inventory Number: 2019.14.001
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