Murder and Child
23 x 15 in. (58.4 x 38.1 cm)
Medium and Support:
Collection of Jorge Rosso
Location: Currently on view
Schaechter’s empathy for the ugly side of the human condition has been consistent throughout her career. In Murder and Child
, she plays out the trope of the unruly, hysterical woman with a display of the most abhorred act of female violence: infanticide. Here, the mother’s confused face is similar to that of the clown in Rape Serenade
Schaechter recalls a book about female serial killers—often caretakers like nurses or mothers—published during this period. In the case of new mothers, hormonal imbalances can be unpredictable and catastrophic; postpartum depression is a heartbreaking condition that many women suffer without support or understanding. Additionally, this piece was completed a year after a woman’s right to control her reproductive future was litigated in the 1992 Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. As is often true, Schaechter’s work conflates and reinterprets multiple cultural sources.