Self-Confessed! The Inappropriately Intimate Comics of Alison Bechdel

Sep 01, 2018 - Dec 30, 2018
Voorhees Gallery

This exhibition of the work of Alison Bechdel spans her illustrious, decades-long career. A renowned cartoonist and graphic memoirist who lives in Bolton, Vermont, Bechdel is a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant winner. Her pioneering comic strip about the lives of a group of lesbian friends, Dykes to Watch Out For, ran from 1983 to 2008 and was syndicated in over fifty alternative papers.

In 2006, Bechdel published the graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, which explores her relationship with her father, her coming out, and his possible suicide. Fun Home was a New York Times bestseller and the basis of the Tony-award winning musical of the same name. Bechdel followed up in 2012 with Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama, which follows her relationship with her mother, girlfriends, therapists, and her exploration of psychoanalytic theory. Both books are works of multilayered complexity, employing nonlinear storytelling and a rich trove of literary and historical references.

Self-Confessed! presents these primary bodies of work in depth through original drawings and sketches, while incorporating other aspects of Bechdel’s creative output, from early drawings to activist ephemera to large-scale self-portraits to a model of the set for the musical Fun Home, reconstructed for this exhibition. The exhibition explores Bechdel’s work as a writer, an artist, and an archivist of the self who continually mines and shares her own experiences in order to communicate something vitally human: the quest for love, acceptance, community, and social justice.

Self-Confessed! is organized by Fleming Museum of Art, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont. The presentation at the Zimmerli is organized by Donna Gustafson, Curator of American Art and Mellon Director for Academic Programs.

Related Programs
Graphic. Memoir. Psychoanalysis. A talk on Alison Bechdel by Dr. Martin Gliserman / Thursday, September 20

An Evening with Alison Bechdel / Wednesday, October 10
Kirkpatrick Chapel. Registration required.

Alison Bechdel (American, born 1960)

Page 1 from The Essential Dykes To Watch Out For

(New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008)

Courtesy of the Artist