David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Raymond Pettibon, on view at 519 West 19th Street in New York. The artist's tenth solo show at gallery TH’ EXPLOSIYV SHOYRT T follows his collaborative presentations with Marcel Dzama at the gallery in both London and New York last year.
Pettibon's work embraces a wide spectrum of American high and low culture, from the deviations of marginal youth to art history, sports, religion, politics, sexuality, and literature. Taking their point of departure in the Southern California punk-rock scene of the late 1970s and 1980s and the do-it-yourself aesthetic of album covers, comics, concert flyers, and fanzines that characterized the movement, his drawings have come to occupy their own genre of potent and dynamic artistic commentary.
The exhibition includes drawings and collages—a relatively new introduction within the artist's oeuvre—in Pettibon's characteristic bold style. The title (here rewritten using the artist's personalized spelling) refers to a 1963 book by legendary American football coach Homer Rice, which details his variation on the so-called T-formation, the precursor to most modern offensive formations in the sport. The potent and aggressive associations of the phrase are echoed throughout the works on view, which shrewdly address facets of contemporary American life.
In keeping with Pettibon's practice, most of the works pair image and text, with each informing the other in a circular fashion. Ranging from a few words to a number of paragraphs, the often rhythmic prose reflects the artist's longstanding interest in poetry and philosophy. Quoting freely from sources such as John Ruskin, Walt Whitman, Jacques Derrida, the Bible, and social media, and often adding self-coined expressions, the handwritten words complement Pettibon's bold imagery in adding humor and unexpected layers to the subject matter. Vintage cartoons by artists such as Charles Addams and Peter Arno are a new influence behind some of the works included in the exhibition, presenting an additional narrative component to his motifs.
On the occasion of the exhibition, David Zwirner Books is pleased to announce the second printing of Raymond Pettibon: Homo Americanus. Published last year for the artist’s major European traveling retrospective organized by the Deichtorhallen Hamburg – Sammlung Falckenberg, the first edition has now sold out.
Born in 1957 in Tucson, Arizona, Raymond Pettibon graduated with a degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1977.
Earlier this year, the New Museum hosted A Pen of All Work, a major solo exhibition of Pettibon's work featuring over seven hundred drawings from the 1960s to the present, marking the artist's first museum survey in New York and the largest presentation of his work to date. The show will travel to the Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht, The Netherlands and the Garage Museum of Contemporary, Moscow.
Pettibon's work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and abroad. In 2016, the Deichtorhallen Hamburg - Sammlung Falckenberg in Hamburg organized Homo Americanus, a major museum survey of Pettibon's work, encompassing over six hundred works from every part of the artist's career, the majority of which have never been shown before. The show traveled to Museum der Moderne Salzburg. A large-scale, comprehensive publication by David Zwirner Books, created in close collaboration with Pettibon, accompanied the exhibition. Prominent venues which have held solo exhibitions of the artist's work include the Kumu Kunstimuuseum, Tallinn, Estonia (2015); Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland (2012); Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover (2007); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain (both 2006); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, California; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (both 2005). In 1998, he had his first American museum presentation, organized by The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which traveled to The Drawing Center, New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
He has participated in a number of group exhibitions worldwide, including the Istanbul Biennial (2011); Liverpool Biennial (2010); SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico (2010 and 2004); Venice Biennale (2007 and 1999); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2004, 1997, 1993, and 1991); and documenta XI, Kassel, Germany (2002).
Museum collections which hold works by the artist include the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; among others. Pettibon lives and works in New York.