Keri Oldham’s Blood Banner at Lazy Suzan Gallery

Installation photo of Blood Banner by Keri Oldham at Lazy Suzan Gallery
“Blood Banner” by Keri Oldham, installation view at The Lazy Suzan Gallery, New York, 2016.
03_KERI_OLDHAM_Evil Eyes_60 x 52 inches_watercolor, grapite on paper
Evil Eyes, 2016, watercolor, graphite, and paper-pulp on paper, 50 x 62 inches

Recently on view at the Chinatown pop-up Lazy Susan Gallery, Oldham’s series of intricate watercolors draws upon and combines multiple literary sources: the Greek myth of the Minotaur’s labyrinth, the biblical story of Judith and Holofernes, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s 1892 short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” In doing so, two major themes emerge: enclosure (the labyrinth itself and the room in which the woman in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is confined to for her mental recovery), and, for lack of a better word, badass women (i.e. Ariadne and Judith) overcoming literal and figurative demons.  

04_KERI_OLDHAM_Judith & Holofernes_30 x 22 inches_watercolor and graphite on paper
Judith & Holofernes, 2016, watercolor and graphite on paper, 26 x 32 inches
KERI_OLDHAM_Yellow_Wallpaper_60 x 52 inches_watercolor and graphite on paper
Yellow Wallpaper, 2016, watercolor, graphite, and paper-pulp on paper, 50 x 62 inches

Oldham’s feminism is a poetic one and one that is much appreciated. Her faceless women, of all races, are dressed in stylish armor inspired-dresses, and despite being flecked with blood or even wielding a (hot pink) cast, seemingly trapped in wallpaper-clad rooms similar to that in Gilman’s story, one after another overcome fearsome monsters. In utilizing timeless mythology, Oldham is able to create a group of heroines fit for today. Her dual embrace of pattern and bold geometry gives the watercolors a feminine “quilted” feel while still exuding the strength that she seeks to communicate, an impression helped in part by the gruesomely decapitated monsters that also populate the works.  

Taken either as a simple update to classic tales or as a metaphor for feminism in contemporary society, Oldham’s work is a strong argument that “girls” can and will overtake their demons, both internal and external.

 

Keri Oldham: Blood Banner at Lazy Susan Gallery

July 16 – July 30th, 2016

191 Henry Street

09_KERI_OLDHAM_BLOOD BANNER_ Gallery2
“Blood Banner” by Keri Oldham, installation view at The Lazy Suzan Gallery, New York, 2016.
05_KERI_OLDHAM_All Eyes on You_20 x 16 inches_watercolor on paper
All Eyes on You, 2016, watercolor and graphite on paper, 16 x 20 inches
10_KERI OLDHAM__Bloodbanner_Flag_Install
Keri Oldham, Blood Banner Flag.
07_KERI_OLDHAM_Yellow Roses_20 x 16 inches_ watercolor and graphite on paper
Yellow Roses, 2016, watercolor and graphite on paper 16 x 20 inches
06_KERI_OLDHAM_Hungry_Ghosts_22x30inches_watercolor and graphite on paper
Hungry Ghosts, 2016, watercolor and graphite on paper, 26 x 32 inches
02_KERI_OLDHAM_Demon Legion_40 x 33 inches_ watercolor, graphite, paper
Demon Legion, 2016, watercolor, graphite, and paper-pulp on paper, 32 x 40 inches
Jennifer Wolf

Jennifer Wolf

Jennifer Wolf is an art administrator and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She has worked in Chelsea galleries since 2010, and holds degrees in art history from Stony Brook University and Hunter College.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial