Raymond Pettibon’s electric union of pen stroke and word has had the Big Apple abuzz since the New Museum opened ‘Raymond Pettibon: A Pen of All Work’ last month. As the artist’s first major museum survey exhibition in New York, the New Museum’s retrospective brings together over 700 drawings, arranged in stunning fashion, ranging from the late 1960s to today – the largest presentation of his work to date.
An indelible fixture in American art since the 1980s, Pettibon’s concurrently graphic and poetic style has rarely been experienced en masse like this. Filling the museum’s three main floors, his drawings articulate how cultural values have shifted across the decades in a raw and emotional way. From the idealistic postwar period of his early childhood to the military and social conflicts that dominate the present, Pettibon’s drawings and installations take on a reinvigorated significance when viewed against a contemporary backdrop.
Curated by Gary Carrion-Murayari and Massimiliano Gioni, the New Museum’s exhibition includes drawings of numerous scales and the artist’s self-produced zines from his early career, as well as videos made with other artists and musician friends to provide an intimate perspective on his vibrant practice.
Pettibon, who was born in 1957, rose to fame for his work on advertisements and record covers and came to be known for his outspoken style and ties to the 1980s LA punk rock scene – primarily his work with Black Flag and SST records – acerbically voicing and visualising the thoughts of a disillusioned youth of which he was a part (he was born Raymond Ginn, ditching the surname to avoid association with President Ronald Reagan, a figure derided by said punk scene).
Regardless of size or medium, Pettibon’s works are consistently charged with a latent energy, thanks to the incredibly detailed and painterly style that his pen strokes produce. Peppered with cultural fixtures from literature, comics and television on one hand, and dominated by his colourful and highly expressive approach on the other, Pettibon’s complex, smoldering oeuvre serves as powerful commentary on American culture.
‘Raymond Pettibon: A Pen of All Work’ is on view until 9 April. For more information, visit the New Museum website
New Musuem 235 Bowery New York, NY 10002
Receive our daily digest of inspiration, escapism and design stories from around the world direct to your inbox
Pei-Ru Keh is a former US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru held various titles at Wallpaper* between 2007 and 2023. She reports on design, tech, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru took a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars, actively seeking out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.
BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA brings Esther Mahlangu’s art to life at Frieze LA
BMW’s Art Car Project has rarely impacted on the company’s everyday business of building cars. With the BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA, could all that be about to change?
By Jonathan Bell Published
This Walter S White house in Indio is given a new lease of life
This Walter S White house in Indio, California, has been redesigned for the 21st century by Sean Gaston
By Hadani Ditmars Published
The Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2024 celebrate UK’s rising creatives
Here are The Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2024 winners, spanning theatre writing, jazz composition and regenerative design
By Tianna Williams Published
Frieze LA 2024 guide: the art, gossip and buzz
Our Frieze LA 2024 guide includes everything you need to know and see in and around the fair
By Renée Reizman Published
New York artist Christopher Astley showcases an alternative natural world
At Martos Gallery in New York, Christopher Astley’s paintings evoke an alternative natural world and the chaos of warfare (until 16 March 2024)
By Tianna Williams Published
The Whitney plots Harold Cohen’s artistic AI adventures
‘Harold Cohen: AARON’, at the Whitney Museum of American Art celebrates the artist’s software – the earliest AI program for artmaking – as an artwork in its own right
By Hannah Silver Published
Ludovic Nkoth’s vibrant paintings reflect on migration
Cameroon-born, New York-based Ludovic Nkoth uses acrylic paint to strike a balance between abstraction and figuration
By Ugonna-Ora Owoh Published
Sneak peek: inside Jack Shainman’s vast New York gallery
Jack Shainman’s new gallery space opens with ‘Broken Spectre’, a new film by Irish artist Richard Mosse
By Mary Cleary Published
Artists explore the meaning of home through the lens of queer and trans domesticity in New York
Group exhibition ‘Dreaming of Home’, at Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, uses a seminal Catherine Opie photograph as a springboard to explore the meaning of home today
By Hannah Silver Published
Sheila Metzner’s jewel-toned fashion photography goes on show in Los Angeles
‘Sheila Metzner: From Life’ is at the Getty Center until 18 February 2024, including her richly toned fashion photography and still lifes; the artist tells us more
By Hunter Drohojowska-Philp Published
Takashi Murakami on his monsterizing San Francisco show
Takashi Murakami tells us of pandemic-inspired creatures, eye-popping flowers, and NFTs as he explains the making of his exhibition at Asian Art Museum in San Francisco
By Pei-Ru Keh Published