Raymond Pettibon. will be the first major American museum presentation
of the artist's drawings and books. Born in 1957, Pettibon lives
and works outside of Los Angeles, where he has been an influential
figure in the art community since the early 1 980s. Pettibon
is perhaps the most prominent contemporary American artist to
concentrate on drawing as his primary medium. To his early admirers
and collectors, he was an unofficial in-house artist for the
punk music scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s, and the creator
of photocopied booklets that he sold for one or two dollars.
Today his work is widely admired among the contemporary art audience
and has avid devotees in the international field of drawing connoisseurs.
While his style initially relied on the conventions of cartoon
illustration, over the years he has developed an entirely personal
approach marked by a uniquely sophisticated relationship between
image and text.
The exhibition will include approximately 500 drawings chosen
from the thousands that Pettibon has made during the last two
decades. His drawings span a broad emotional spectrum, often
elegiac, ironic, or disturbing. In the 1980s, Pettibon's drawings
were made in a distinctive style derived from vernacular sources,
often gritty in subject and mood. In recent years they have become
more richly virtuosic in line and color and their subjects more
metaphorical and poetic. A selection of Pettibon's unique handmade
books of ink and watercolor drawings will also be on view.