GARY PANTER, "New Planet"
EXHIBITION: MARCH 15 – MAY 1, 2010
Public lecture by the artist: Monday, March 15, 7 PM
Reception for the artist: Monday, March 15, 8:30 – 9:30 PM
Related event: In conjunction with his residency, Gary Panter is presenting an artist’s talk by Bob Zoell, Wednesday, March 17, 3 PM
“New Planet,” an exhibition of paintings, drawings and multiples by Gary Panter, including a wall drawing to be created by the artist on site, will open March 15 at the Pasadena City College art gallery. Panter is Pasadena City College’s twenty-fourth annual Artist-in-Residence.
Gary Panter has distinguished himself in an astonishing array of artistic fields. In the words of artist Mike Kelley, “Gary Panter is the most important graphic artist of the post-psychedelic (punk) period.” Panter is a recipient of the Chrysler Design Award, presented to individuals whose seminal work in architecture or design has “significantly influenced modern American culture.”
An innovator in comics as well as graphic design, Panter is one of only four living practitioners included among the “Masters of American Comics,” an exhibition jointly organized in 2005 by the Museum of Contemporary Art and the UCLA Hammer Museum. Panter is also known for his work as head production designer for the television series “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” for which he received three Emmy awards. His illustration clients include a wide array of publications and other businesses, such as The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Time, The New York Times, Esquire, Interview, The Village Voice, Spin, Vibe, Fortune, Entertainment Weekly, MCA Records, EMI Records, Rycodisc Records, Rhino Records, J.C. Penney, Colorforms Toys, Matchbox Toys, CBS, MTV and the Cartoon Network. Panter has a formidable career as a painter, too. He’s had one-person gallery exhibitions in Japan, France, Switzerland and throughout the US, including an exhibition at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut, in 2008. His psychedelic light and music performances, done in collaboration with Joshua White (of the original Joshua Light Shows at the Fillmore East in the 1960s), have been presented at venues including the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., New York’s Anthology Film Archives and elsewhere. The above list doesn’t begin to exhaust the range of his work, which also includes musical recordings, writing, puppet shows and the design for a children’s playroom at the Paramount Hotel in New York City.
Born in Durant, Oklahoma, in 1950, Panter grew up in various towns in Texas and Oklahoma, earning a BFA degree from East Texas State University at Commerce.
He lived in Los Angeles from the mid-1970s until the mid-80s, during which time his graphics and characteristic “ratty line” style of drawing became associated with the burgeoning punk subculture, notably via his iconic screaming-head logo for the band The Screamers and his cartoon character Jimbo, whose comic strip adventures appeared regularly in the punk tabloid Slash. Prior to his acclaimed work on ”Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” he designed the original stage production “The Pee-wee Herman Show” at the Roxy Theater in Hollywood in 1981, marking the beginning of a collaboration with performer Paul Reubens which continues to the present. He also collaborated with the mysterious San Francisco-based avant-pop band The Residents. As an illustrator, he gained notice for series of cover designs for record albums by Frank Zappa. In the early ‘80s his work was featured prominently in the lavishly produced art comics magazine RAW, edited by Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly. While living in Los Angeles, Panter taught at Otis College of Art and Design.
In 1986, he moved to New York. He now lives in Brooklyn with his wife, designer Helene Silverman. He teaches at the School of Visual Arts, New York.