Chances are that if you are remotely into underground culture, you will have quite a few records, shirts or other things adorned with artwork by Raymond Pettibon.
For over thirty years, Raymond Pettibon has been chronicling the history, mythology, and culture of America with a prodigious and distinctive voice. Through his drawings’ signature interplay between image and text, he moves between historical reflection, emotional longing, poetic wit, and strident critique.
A Pen of All Work is the largest presentation of Pettibon’s work to date and features more than six hundred drawings from the 1960s to the present. This unique collection provides insight into the mind of one of the most influential and visionary living American artists.
Pettibon first received attention for his work when it was used in advertisements, zines, and record covers in the burgeoning Los Angeles punk scene of the 1980s. His work became identified with a brash and iconoclastic visual style that would influence and speak for an entire generation of disaffected youth. In spite of this impact, Pettibon’s link to the punk scene has obscured the scope of his thematic and stylistic vision and the important place he occupies in the history of contemporary art. He stands alongside a generation of Los Angeles artists who have tackled the dissolution of American idealism head-on using fragments of its own visual culture.
From the beginning of his career, Pettibon has employed drawing and writing in tandem to connect radically distinctive cultural forms—from movies and literature to comics and TV—and pieces of narratives from throughout history and culture. His visual universe is populated by the (anti-)heroes of the last century of American history, including such disparate characters as Charles Manson, Gumby, Superman, and Bonzo Ronald Reagan.
Pettibon hints at familiar and forgotten narratives in his work, while using an expressive approach to color, line, and gesture in order to provoke complex emotional states.
Whether his work is addressing surfing, baseball, war, or family, or channeling the voices of John Ruskin, Henry James, or Allen Ginsberg, it manages to suggest both personal and universal perspectives on shared cultural experience.
The book includes an interview with Raymond Pettibon conducted by Massimiliano Gioni, as well as contributions by Benjamin Buchloh, Gary Carrion-Murayari, Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, Frances Stark, and Lynne Tillman.
This is the ultimate monograph on this provocative artist, who has helped to redefine contemporary art and no matter if you are a longstanding admirer or new to the game, this generous selection is almost certain to include information and, more importantly, pictures, that you have never seen before.
Another great emission from Phaidon, the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print.
Phaidon’s focus is on working with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children – a mission that is more than achieved with this comprehensive tome.
8.5 / 10
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