Caitlin Keogh, Playing a Song, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 72 × 54".

Caitlin Keogh

The Approach

Caitlin Keogh, Playing a Song, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 72 × 54".

The charm of the six large paintings in “Alphabets and Daggers,” the first London solo show by the New York–based artist Caitlin Keogh, lay in their enigmatic nature. With their flat forms, bold outlines, and complex color palettes, these thinly painted, Pop-ish acrylic paintings combined motifs drawn from a wide variety of sources—from medieval marginalia and Victorian pottery to William Morris wallpaper and Fritz Kahn infographics—into compositions characterized by a beguiling, dreamlike lucidity. For instance, the mottled green ground of A Name is a Ribbon (all works 2018) morphed into a latticelike weave of seven arms with hands holding paintbrushes. Black outlines define the hands and arms, while the small breaks in the weave reveal a deep-yellow space beneath. Are the hands Keogh’s, painting the work we now see? Does each represent a different moment in her process?

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