What sunnier way to embark on the weekend than through a macabre tour of loss, grief, and death? Marsha Pels’ “Dead Mother, Dead Cowboy” juxtaposes twin traumas from the artist’s life in a makeshift installation quarry wherein Pels sets up a dialog between her late mother and former partner. She skirts the traditional touchstones of mourning in favor of exploring the identities of both of these irretrievable figures who continue to remain an essential but elusive part of her life. This isn’t to say she denies them the exceptional weight they carried in her life, though — going so far as to construct a life-sized, avant garde effigy of her mother. Her media of choice range from mink stoles to halogen lighting. “Dead Mother, Dead Cowboy” opens tonight with a reception at New York’s Schroeder Romero Gallery and runs through October 4.