Caitlin Keogh at Bortolami / New York

Caitlin Keogh
Loose Ankles

08.09. – 28.10.2016

520 W 20th Street
New York, NY 10011

Images courtesy the artist and Bortolami
Bortolami is pleased to announce Loose Ankles, Caitlin Keogh’s first exhibition at the gallery. In her new paintings and drawings she
depicts, dissects, and disseminates the performative construction of self.
Keogh illustrates broken bodies as they move through historical motifs and compositions, posing questions about the stability of an
artistic subject and notions of an expressive self. She ties the questions together in the plainspoken dialect of a sign-painter, using
a generally tasteful color palette, incorporating feminine yet sinister subjects.
The seven large paintings in the show engage in metaphors of the body’s interior as a site of processing and producing. The site of
the figure is idealized through Keogh’s various references while it repeatedly falls apart. In Renaissance Painting, she implies figuration
without an explicitly human form by pairing an empty suit of armor adorned with female hormonal glands, placing the body’s physical
interior on a manufactured exterior. Redundantly self-asserting, Dior by Dior, The Autobiography of Christian Dior, repeats and
tumbles downward as the flat painting surface appears illustratively torn. Her depiction of this autobiography is an ironic ploy—while
she plays to the viewer’s instinctive search for the artist’s self in the work yet renders the image in a flat, impersonal style. Elsewhere
in the show, drawings of text from the same book drift aimlessly from their legible structure and take on the form of ancient papyrus
Four small paintings depict Keogh’s own hands, possibly in the studio, the boudoir, or a surreal space of association. In Painting and
Listening, in which the artist’s hand holds a brush touching the surface of an illusionary canvas, the explanatory title describes the
act of mark-making as a receptive gesture rather than an expulsive one.
Keogh posits that painting could describe an unraveling or tangling of a fixed self, gender, body, or historical paradigm instead of
confirming one. The work connects to the feminine idea of the construction of self and uses the performance of gender as an allegory
for personal feelings about art history and painting.