Jemima Kirke
Self-portrait as a Bride #1, 2017
Oil on canvas
22 x 18 inches

Jemima Kirke
Bride in a Dark Room, 2017
Oil on canvas
36 x 23 inches

Jemima Kirke
Zoe in Her Wedding Dress, 2017
Oil on canvas
42 x 22 inches

Jemima Kirke
Domino, 2017
Oil on canvas
54 x 32 inches

Jemima Kirke
ShiShi in My Wedding Dress, 2017
Oil on canvas
21 x 21 inches

Jemima Kirke
Lola as a Bride, 2017
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 inches

Jemima Kirke
Emma in Her Wedding Dress, 2017
Oil on canvas
50 x 30 inches

Jemima Kirke
Allison in Her Wedding Dress, 2017
Oil on canvas
68 x 40 inches

Jemima Kirke
Woman on a Chair with Veil, 2017
Oil on canvas
42 x 34 inches

Jemima Kirke
Self-portrait as a Bride #2, 2017
Oil on canvas
16 x 13 inches

Jemima Kirke
Elaine in Her Wedding Dress, 2017
Oil on canvas
50 x 30 inches

Jemima Kirke

The Ceremony

December 13, 2017 – January 21, 2018

Sargent’s Daughters is pleased to present The Ceremony, a solo exhibition of oil paintings by Jemima Kirke.  The exhibition will open on Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 and run through January 21st, 2018.  This will be Kirke’s first exhibition at Sargent’s Daughters.

For this series of paintings Kirke invited her subjects to pose in their wedding dresses.  Drawing on the shared experiences of women around her, as well as cultural expectations and attitudes towards marriage, Kirke examines the roles that a woman takes on as she transforms into a bride.  The resulting paintings are a powerful testimony to the inherent expectations of the bridal figure and the image that society collectively attaches to a woman about to be married.

Eschewing the typical smiling bridal poses, the women in Kirke’s portraits are thoughtful, even disconsolate.  They stare unabashedly outwards, meeting the viewer’s gaze through gauze veils. Several of the portraits feature the artist herself as a bride.  After her own divorce, Kirke was drawn to the subject of weddings and why women who were otherwise progressive feminists are attracted to an antiquated ceremony and its associated loaded symbology and strict gender roles. Kirke found the desire to participate in the pageantry and pretense both confusing and deeply intrinsic.  If women are aware of the power in participating, why do they continue to do so?  The resulting portraits do not provide an answer but an entry, questioning the individual’s role in a continuing societal construct.

Jemima Kirke (b. 1985, London, U.K.) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, 2008. This is her first solo exhibition at Sargent's Daughters.