Meet Raymond Pettibon

The Californian artist will be meeting fans and signing books at David Zwirner New York on October 19
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No title (smack) (2013) by Raymond Pettibon
No title (smack) (2013) by Raymond Pettibon

Raymond Pettibon, the Californian artist who began his career illustrating punk singles and now commands the attention of gallery-goers across the globe, is no stranger to the written word. His twitter feed is remarkably entertaining. GalleristNY.com put together a list of his top ten tweets last year, while recent highlights range from radical parapolitics - “Tony Blair kilyt Lady Di. Pryycckkk” - to careers advice - “4yrs socialization at top art ashool=4 sat.nights table talk dinner w/gallerists,curators. Save yr student loans...” - to the frankly unrepeatable.

 

Raymond Pettibon by Hedi Slimane
Raymond Pettibon by Hedi Slimane

His pen and ink drawings too incorporate words alongside the images, in an eerie compact of figurative drawing and Dave Salle-style collage with added pop culture detritus.  Nevertheless, Pettibon remains well read; for his Phaidon monograph, the artist chose to reproduce extracts from the sixteenth century English poetry guide, The Arte of English Poesie by George Puttenham; Laurence Sterne's eighteenth century novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, and John Ruskin's Victorian work of criticism Modern Painters.

 

No title (Chorus line. Think…) (2013) by Raymond Pettibon
No title (Chorus line. Think…) (2013) by Raymond Pettibon

His current exhibition, To Wit, at the David Zwirner gallery in Manhattan until October 26, takes this textual element further, by incorporating quotations from Marcel Proust, William Faulkner, Henry James, Gustave Flaubert, and the Bible. They seem like odd sources for an artist who has previously drawn on subjects such as the Manson Family and the Moors Murderers, yet the sharp, concise prose meshes in nicely with Pettibon's careering visions of nightmarish sex and violence.

No Title (In the still…) (2013) by Raymond Pettibon
No Title (In the still…) (2013) by Raymond Pettibon

If you want to talk Ruskin and A la Recherche du Temps Perdu, or the ongoing Black Flag lawsuit (bassist Gregg Ginn is Pettibon's brother) then go to the gallery, at  519 West 19th Street, on Saturday October 19, 4-6pm, when Pettibon will be signing books, alongside fellow Zwirner artists Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Marcel Dzama. We're betting that Pettibon's title page inscriptions are pretty special. Find out more at David Zwirner. And to learn more about Pettibon's life and work, pick up a copy of our monograph, from the Phaidon store, here.

 

Installation view of To Wit by Raymond Pettibon at David Zwirner
Installation view of To Wit by Raymond Pettibon at David Zwirner


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