From my bumbling attempt to write a disastrous musical, these illustrations muyst suffice
Regen Projects is pleased to announce From my bumbling attempt to write a disastrous musical, these illustrations muyst suffice, an exhibition of new work by Raymond Pettibon. This marks the artist’s tenth solo presentation since joining the gallery in 1993.
Raymond Pettibon’s work draws from a broad spectrum of influences ranging from Southern California surf culture, punk rock aesthetics, baseball, and film noir to popular culture, world history and politics. His singular and prolific practice combines image with language, seamlessly melding “high” and “low” into bold works of art. As diverse as his subject matter, Pettibon’s images have included quotations from quotidian and literary works by authors including Marcel Proust, Henry James, William Blake, John Ruskin, and Art Clokey, as well as texts written by the artist himself.
This exhibition presents a selection of drawings and collages that continue Pettibon’s dynamic exploration of the pairing of image with text to create works that feature tropes of violence, sex, sports, politics, rock’n’roll, and religion. On view will be a selection of swift, monochromatic drawings as well as multi-colored built up collages. Belying their often times facile and paired-down aesthetic the compositions provide a glimpse into the encyclopedic mind of their maker. In some works the viewer espies easily recognizable subjects such as Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, The Beatles, Jesus Christ, Michael Jackson and Bubbles, Herbert Hoover and John Dillinger.
Pettibon relies on the cultural significance of his depicted characters to fuel the grotesque contradictions at play in his work. Joining text and image and mixing multiple visual and verbal styles, he animates his protagonists by affixing evocative voices to them. At times those voices are convincing; at other times they are utterly implausible; most often they are somewhere in between. He not only deconstructs conventional meanings but constructs new—albeit often highly ambiguous and ambivalent—meanings. Provoked and often even moved by Pettibon’s work, one must confront the slipperiness of its suggested meanings and the unreliability of both the artist and the supposed speaker. His drawings are at once opened up and completed by the rich associations elicited by their components and the friction between them. The goal is to not only activate the viewer’s role as interpreter but also foster reflection upon his or her own beliefs, values, and presumptions along the way.
(Levine, Cary, Pay for Your Pleasures, University of Chicago Press, 2013)
Recent monographs of the artist’s work include Raymond Pettibon, edited by Ralph Rugoff and featuring texts by Robert Storr, Jonathan Lethem, Kitty Scott, and Byron Coley (Regen Projects/Rizzoli) andRaymond Pettibon: Here’s Your Irony Back, Political Works 1975-2013, featuring a text by Benjamin H.D. Buchloh (Regen Projects/David Zwirner/Hatje Cantz).
Raymond Pettibon (b. 1957 Tucson, AZ) received his BA in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1977.
Pettibon’s work has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions worldwide including Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne (2012); Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover (2007); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2006); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Malaga (2006); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego (2005); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2005); Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona [traveled to Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo and Gemeentemuseum, The Hague] (2002); The Renaissance Society, Chicago in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia [traveled to The Drawing Center, New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles] (1998); and Kunsthalle Bern, Bern (1995). This year he will be the subject of a solo exhibition at the Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia (May 29 – September 13, 2015).
Permanent collections that hold his work include Tate Gallery, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Museion, Bolzano; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; among others.
He has been the recipient of the Oskar Kokoschka Prize (2010), Whitney Biennial Bucksbaum Award(2004), and the Wolfgang Hahn Prize (2001).
An opening reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, April 23, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
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