The Books 1978-1998 Press Release


March 15—31, 2001

David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of a wide range of drawings by Raymond Pettibon dating from the late 1970s through this year. The exhibition, curated by Roberto Ohrt, previously appeared at Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin and the MAK Vienna before traveling to New York. This, the artist's fourth exhibition at David Zwirner, will include more than 100 drawings from the artist's archive shown alongside the photocopied zines in which many of them were first presented.

This exhibition strives to show how Pettibon developed his image-text drawings in the context of these self-published zines, folded and center-stapled 8  x 11 sheets and issued in very small editions. Working in Los Angeles, Pettibon produced more than 100 of these booklets from the late 1970s through the mid-1990s. By presenting working proofs of the zines in progress, Mr. Ohrt demonstrates how Pettibon would rework texts and images throughout the development of the pamphlets.

Virtually all of these rare booklets will be on display in the gallery, and for the first time, 30 zines, along with two previously unpublished volumes, have been compiled and reprinted in one comprehensive overview: Raymond Pettibon: The Books 1978-1998, edited by Roberto Ohrt, originally published in German by Buchhandlung Walther König and distributed in the United States by D.A.P., Inc. (898 pages). The artist will be present at a booksigning for this publication on March 15, 4 pm to 7 pm.

The book presents the zines in chronological order and provides unique insight into Pettibon's stylistic progress and the emergence of recurring images that would over time become instantly recognizable Pettibon icons: the surfer, Vavoom, mushroom clouds, and baseball players (among several others).

In conjunction with this important career milestone, David Zwirner, in partnership with Brooke Alexander, has produced three multiples entitled Plots on Loan, one book and two portfolios, each available separately, of artist’s lithographs. Within these multiples, Pettibon’s stark iconography is presented in stunning high contrast.

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