On Thursday, September 14, the gallery will open with an exhibition of drawings by Raymond Pettibon. Mr. Pettibon has shown consistently in New York since 1986; however, this will be his first exhibition at David Zwirner. On view in the gallery will be a selection of drawings dating from 1982 to 1995. Furthermore, the artist will execute two large-scale wall drawings specifically for this show.
Raymond Pettibon's drawings, in which he combines picture and text, are striking for their almost incomprehensible depth of ideas, subject matters, associations, and metaphors. Dating back to the late 1970s, Pettibon adapted a drawing style similar to the one found in American comic books. He was interested in the cartoon's mode of presentation, which enabled him to use a more remote, generic drawing style versus a very personal one. He was not interested in the way narrative was treated in comics, namely with a continuous story line. In Pettibon's work, pictures and text are very often not connected in an obvious, logical way. What unifies pictures and text is the precise way in which the text elements are treated formally in the drawings. Especially in Pettibon's later work, where the text tends to be longer, the text part becomes an equal graphic element in the composition, thus creating a sense of urgency on behalf of the viewer, to produce meaning out of contradictory elements.