Opening on Tuesday, November 23, David Zwirner will present an exhibition of new drawings by the Los Angeles-based artist, Raymond Pettibon. This will be the artist's sixth solo exhibition at the gallery. In 2004, Pettibon's work has been included in several major exhibitions, including the 2004 Whitney Biennial, where he was the recipient of the Whitney Museum's Bucksbaum Award. In addition, Pettibon's work was included in the SITE Santa Fe 5th International Biennial: Disparities and Deformations: Our Grotesque, curated by Robert Storr, in Santa Fe, New Mexico; as well as the Flick Collection at the Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, in Berlin, Germany. The artist's work will be the subject of a major solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, scheduled for late 2005/early 2006.
Widely considered to be one of the most influential contemporary artists working today, Raymond Pettibon's work embraces many aspects of art, literature, sports, religion, politics, and sexuality. Dating back to the late 1970's, Pettibon adapted a drawing style similar to the one found in American comic books. He was interested in the cartoon's mode of representation, which enabled him to use a more remote, generic drawing style versus a very personal one.
His earliest drawings appeared on the album covers of his brother Greg Ginn's band, Black Flag, and in fanzines and photocopied books that the artist distributed himself. Pettibon continues to reference both high and low culture, and is one of few artists today who is able to create these highly poetic constructions by employing different aspects of the cultural spectrum. The artist's work has a strong reliance on text, making the image more a support or location for his writings. At the same time, certain images have become recognized as part of Pettibon's canon. These include surfers, Gumby, trains, dollar signs, pedophiles and baseball players. The literary sources for his drawings are equally diverse, ranging from William Faulkner; Mark Twain; Daniel Defoe; Gustave Flaubert; Marcel Proust; pulp fiction; Charles Manson; James Joyce; and the Bible.
Over the last few years, Pettibon’s work has evolved into more colorful and painterly compositions. Lately opting for a brush rather than his signature pen, Pettibon combines washes of color with his distinctive drawing style. In addition to drawings, this exhibition will include an animation that was created for the SITE Santa Fe show.