Forgetting the Hand Press Release
January 14—February 20, 2016
David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of collaborative works by Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon, on view at 533 West 19th Street in New York. Gallery artists since 1998 and 1995 respectively, this is the first time the pair has worked together. The drawings were originally created for a zine published by David Zwirner Books to coincide with Printed Matter's New York Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1 (September 2015).
The collaboration began in Summer 2015 with the artists swapping the first of a series of drawings to be completed by the other. In a variation of the "exquisite corpse" method in which a partner is only given portions of an otherwise concealed drawing to work on, Dzama and Pettibon developed each other's compositions through illustrations, collage, and writing. Just as the surrealists invented the technique in the early twentieth century as a playful and ultimately enriching exercise, the present drawings combine the two artists' distinct styles in a revealing and often seamless fashion. In several works, it is almost impossible to determine who made what, which indicates how both strove to assimilate the other's vision or anticipate his response.
After completing the drawings for the zine, the production of which was also a close collaboration, further works have been produced jointly by the artists and will be on view in the exhibition. Dzama will additionally preview a new video inspired by the endeavor, titled A Flower of Evil, which features the actress, author, and comedian Amy Sedaris as the artist himself, as well as several other characters in costumes made by Dzama.
The sold-out original zine will be reprinted by David Zwirner Books as a revised and expanded edition on the occasion of the exhibition, and will include a new text by the poet Andrew Durbin. Artist books form a significant part of both Dzama and Pettibon's oeuvres, and Pettibon, in particular, has been making his own zines since he graduated from UCLA in the late 1970s. Forgetting the Hand represents his most extensive collaboration to date.
Andrew Durbin is the author of Mature Themes (Nightboat 2014) and the chapbook MacArthur Park (Kenning Editions 2015). His work has appeared in BOMB Magazine, Boston Review, Flash Art, Poetry London, Texte Zur Kunst, and elsewhere. A contributing editor of Mousse, he co-edits the press Wonder and lives in New York. His first novel, Blonde Summer, is forthcoming from Nightboat in 2017.