Artist addresses satire in fairy tales

Dorothee Ostmeier, Professor of German and Folklore and Public Culture, will teach “Magic, Uncanny, Surrealist and Cynical Tales” during the 2020 winter term. She will introduce students to artist Peregrine Honig’s “Father Gander” (2005), a suite of six-color lithographs with chine collé, from the collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA). Peregrine Honig will give a talk about her prints, “Satire and Fairy Tale in Contemporary Art Projects of Peregrine Honig,” on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 2 p.m. in the JSMA. 

Ostmeier’s class, based on her scholarship on fairy tale traditions in the contexts of gender studies and the history of satire/cynicism, will establish a framework for the discussion of Honig’s visual mediation of classical knowledge and contemporary critical reflection. Honig’s six lithographs present satirical commentaries on specific classical tales, mostly from the Brothers Grimm.

Print from "Father Gander" two children walking in the forestHonig’s prints place their fairy tale characters into forests that surround the figures in the shape of symmetrical filigree paper cuts. These delicate surroundings (portals) contrast with the colored comic-like characters and call attention to the conflicts between the aesthetics of the tales, and their subversive popular and Disney-esque celebrations of bourgeois gender stereotypes. The addition of rhyming couplets to each print sharpens the commentary. Onlookers are forced to face the hidden agenda that the classical fairy tales hide: “prostitution, incest, captivation, and other social calamities.” 

Peregrine Honig’s visit to the UO is cosponsored by the OHC’s Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities. For more information contact

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