23.06.16 – 07.08.16
Keiler Roberts (b. 1978, Wisconsin) is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and original voices in contemporary comics. Her Ignatz Award-nominated Powdered Milk minicomics – the focus of this exhibition – primarily explore her relationship with her daughter, Xia, and husband, Scott, as well as her interactions with friends and extended family. Despite the laugh-out-loud humour found within Powdered Milk, these small stories also paint a picture of Roberts as a melancholy, anxious mother living with bipolar disorder, rendered in beautifully sketchy linework.
Marking Roberts’s first solo show outside of the United States, the works in this exhibition - featuring original Powdered Milk artwork, preliminary sketches, wall drawings and the minicomics themselves - capture the hilarity and innocence of childhood with a similar charm to Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts, Judy Blume’s Fudge series, and Beverly Cleary’s Ramona. This is combined with a contemporary perspective and sharp wit that puts Roberts’s work more in line with the likes of Lena Dunham, Miranda July, and Larry David, all of whom she cites as influences and inspirations.
Roberts’s work sits within the tradition of autobiographical comics, a form thatfirst became popular in the underground comix movement, which emerged in the United States in the late 1960s and has since become more widespread. Cartoonists working within this genre range from legendary figures in the industry such as Robert Crumb and Art Spiegelman to contemporary examples including Alison Bechdel, Gabrielle Bell, Noah Van Sciver, and Julia Wertz.