Kenyon College

Lindsay Lynch


Pandaemonium!. 2013.
Linocut reduction print. 26 x 40 inches, set of 27.




Stories are nice. They’ve got a beginning, a middle, and an end. They’re structured, most of the time, and I appreciate that about them. I like words, too, and the way they fit together. I enjoy parsing and diagramming sentences. Things that have structure like that are very comforting to me. 


But here’s my issue: I’m not sure what to do with the stuff that doesn’t fit in the story, the sentence, or the paradigm. This is how my obsessions develop. I take ideas, images, and words and I clutch onto them for days, weeks, even years. When something doesn’t fit, I have to hold onto it. Art is my outlet for the things that don’t fit. Through creating prints, I’ve made myself a space to work with these images and symbols.


My interest in printing stemmed from studying medieval Christian woodblock prints—I like the idea that prints were used when words were unintelligible to an illiterate audience. For me, creating images that can be infinitely repeated reflects the idea of print as a vehicle for mass consumption. I want to defamiliarize images and symbols that have been repeated throughout history. Through juxtaposition and distortion, I’ve attempted to remove them from their social and historical context and forced them to interact with one another.


I’m interested in how these leftover symbols, signs, and signifiers function together. I’ve appropriated bits and pieces from all across history in art, literature, and popular culture. Marcus Aurelius might be stomping over a bodacious babe, who comes straight out of stock photography. The sparrows in my work could come from the pages of Hamlet or Faulkner or the Bible, depending on how I’m thinking about it. I changed the color of the former pope’s robes not because I’m sacrilegious, I just think Benedict looks smashing in flourescent colors.


Among my artistic influences are David Salle, Roy Lichtenstein, and James Rosenquist. I like that they ditched physical landscape for psychological ones. There are a number of dead French philosophers who seem pretty important to me—Roland Barthes and Jean Baudrillard are the first that come to mind. They’re a bit highbrow for my liking, but they say some interesting things about how we structure our world with words and symbols. Much of my thematic influence comes from James Joyce, St. Thomas Aquinas, Ignatius of Loyola, and Jesus H. Christ. Also Dante. Also Paradise Lost. Also Bernini and Caravaggio. Also the entire city of Rome and the Vatican. Actually, I’d like to extend that to the entire country of Italy. While I’m at it, Ireland, too. The Holy Roman Empire also feels important. I just like things that are laden with contradiction.


Most of us know pandaemonium as a word for chaos. For John Milton in Paradise Lost, it’s the capital of Hell. For me, Pandaemonium represents the attempt to contain chaos and give it structure. When presented with confusion and absurdity, our first instinct is to order it, contextualize it, and make sense of it. My artwork plays on these notions of context and order. When familiar images are placed outside of their context, they can take on new meaning.

— Lindsay Lynch‘13

Lindsay Lynch
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