Raymond Pettibon Press Release
January 13—February 12, 2000
Opening on Wednesday, January 12th, the gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Raymond Pettibon. This will be the artist's third exhibition at David Zwirner. Pettibon's work has been shown extensively throughout Europe and the United States. Most recently, a traveling survey of his work was organized by Susanne Ghez of the Renaissance Society, Chicago and Ann Temkin of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which subsequently was shown at The Drawing Center, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Phaidon Press will publish a forthcoming monograph on the artist.
One of the most important artists to emerge from Southern California, Raymond Pettibon's work embraces the full spectrum of American culture from the deviations of marginal youth-culture to art, literature, sports, religion, politics, and sexuality. His early works appeared on album covers for his brother Greg Ginn's band, Black Flag, and in fanzines and photocopied books that he distributed himself.
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. Over the years, however, the relationship between image and text has become even more powerful. The work has a stronger reliance on the text, making the image more a support or location for the artist's writings. At the same time, certain images have become recognized as part of Pettibon's vernacular. These include the surfer, Gumby, trains, dollar signs, and baseball players. The literary sources for his drawings are equally diverse, ranging from William Faulkner; Daniel Defoe; Gustave Flaubert; Marcel Proust; pulp fiction; Charles Manson; James Joyce; and the Bible. Pettibon is one of the few artists today who is able to create these highly poetic constructions by employing all these different cultural levels.