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 nigh to thirty years, Raymond Pettibon has been creating art that not only comments but has become an integral part of American culture and its implications. With a view from a unique angle, Pettibon channels his observations through his signature style that seamlessly transitions between juxtaposition, longings, reflections and witty commentary employing both imagery and harnessing the (often discontextualised) power of the written word.
A Pen of All Work is the most comprehensive anthology of Pettibon’s work to date and features more than six hundred drawings from the 1960s to the present. It illuminates the process behind Pettibon’s work and his raison d’être.
An interesting point that the book makes is that Pettibon is of course one of the originators and trailblazers of the West Coast punk scene of the 1980s, yet his vision and artistry goes far beyond what he is commonly known for and much more significant on a grander scale.
Drawings and writings are the alpha and omega of his oeuvre, the interplay of which he expertly uses to connect seemingly unrelated themes from a range of different backgrounds and media, tinged with his own and adapted narratives, while using an approach to color, line, and gesture in order that not only frames but elicits complex emotional states and aims for cathartic effect.
Based on an interview with Raymond Pettibon, conducted by Massimiliano Gioni, this ultimate monograph contains essays by the likes of Benjamin Buchloh, Gary Carrion-Murayari, Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, Frances Stark, and Lynne Tillman.
An essential book 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, artwork and pictures, that you have never seen before.
8.5 / 10
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