The Birds

Kiki Smith, In a Bower (2015), color etching and aquatint with hand coloring, 33 3/4 x 44 1/2 inches. Edition of 18. Printed and published by Harlan & Weaver, New York.

The prints of John James Audubon are a familiar presence at fairs that cater to historic works on paper, but Audubon’s ghost seemed to walk the halls of the New York print fairs in November with unusual vigor. He appeared both uptown and down, in new art and old, and in all his many guises—pioneering naturalist, dogged assassin of birdlife, inadvertent decorator of hotel lobbies, bearer of the white man’s burden.

Stewart & Stewart showed the 11th and 12th installments of Jane E. Goldman’s Audubon series—colorful still lifes that pair a page from Birds of America with a seasonal bouquet and, more remarkably, with a distinctly, recognizably, seasonal light. March and April offer the Columbia magpie and the Prothonotary warbler amid the soft shadows and slight dampness of emergent spring.

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