Lari Pittman

( 1 )

Overview

". . . big, visually gripping and psychologically strange [paintings]." -The New York Times

Lari Pittman’s meticulously rendered paintings employ a complex mix of symbols and images to create dense and compelling narratives on love, violence, and desire. Drawing upon design, folk art, and decorative traditions, Pittman’s brightly colored paintings incorporate and rework a range of styles and genres—Victorian silhouettes, social realist murals, and Mexican retablos—to conjure a ...

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Overview

". . . big, visually gripping and psychologically strange [paintings]." -The New York Times

Lari Pittman’s meticulously rendered paintings employ a complex mix of symbols and images to create dense and compelling narratives on love, violence, and desire. Drawing upon design, folk art, and decorative traditions, Pittman’s brightly colored paintings incorporate and rework a range of styles and genres—Victorian silhouettes, social realist murals, and Mexican retablos—to conjure a hallucinatory effect unique in contemporary painting. Pittman has earned numerous accolades in the art world and has been included in the Venice Biennale, Documenta X, and four Whitney Biennials. The first monograph on his thirty-year career, this book will be a vital addition to any art enthusiast’s library.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Pittman’s meticulously rendered paintings employ a complex mix of symbols and images to create dense and compelling narratives on love, violence, and desire. Storr, director of the Yale School of Art, puts Pittman in context and describes her blend of styles and traditions into something new.” ~Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847835768
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Publication date: 4/5/2011
  • Pages: 276
  • Product dimensions: 10.33 (w) x 12.40 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Lari Pittman has both a BFA and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia. He has received many awards, including the Skowhegan Medal, three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the J. Paul Getty Trust Fund for Visual Arts Fellowship Grant. He has had major exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva. Robert Storr is a curator, writer, and Dean of the Yale School of Art. Wayne Koestenbaum is an art critic and professor at the City University of New York. Helen Molesworth is chief curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Lisa Phillips is the Toby Devan Lewis Director of the New Museum in New York.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    At Last! A Major Monograph on the Major Artist Lari Pittman

    Lari Puttman has been bowling over artists in Los Angeles for many years - his huge paintings magnetize viewers to stand in front of these perplexing yet mesmerizingly beautiful for extended periods of time, so full of visual imagery and commentary on social and gender issues are they! While Pittman's work has appeared in almost every significant international 'Biennale' and museums and many of his paintings have been reproduced in catalogues, This book, and the fine commentary by Robert Schorr, director of the Yale School of Art, finally provides a worthy survey of the genius of this brilliant painter. Pittman's paintings almost defy verbal or written descriptions: each of his works has so many overlays of design, decoration, excellent drawing, rich color palette, and important social comments that the only real manner in which to think through his art is to enter the canvas as though strolling through his fantasies. As his paintings have developed over the years his method of painting has thickened and matured. His early more technically simple paintings were at first dismissed by the casual observer as kitsch - mixing patterns and drawings with peppery sexy overtones and visual statements. But the critics and collectors and curators of museums have always seen beyond the cheeky surface and have acknowledged Pittman's gifts not only as a fine artist but as an observer of our human foibles and fallacies and myths. Art critic David Pagel once stated 'Think of Pittman's vertiginous pictures of flowers, birds and puppets, as well as pods, fruits and flow charts, laboratories, labyrinths and kitchens, as the impossible progeny of an exotic, hothouse blossom and a common, hard-to-kill thistle. Breathlessly beautiful and tough as nails, his quixotic hybrids combine exquisite pleasure with grubby pragmatism to turn the world upside-down, inside-out and into a place that is a whole lot better than it was before he got his hands on it.' That statement sums us Pittman's paintings as well as any other critic's view. 'Nature and culture are cut from the same cloth. Nothing meaningful distinguishes organic from artificial. If Oscar Wilde were alive today, he would be at home among Pittman's luscious crops, which are as outlandish and fanciful, flowery and formal, preposterous and promiscuous as Wilde's prose.' The authors, other than the above mentioned Schorr, include Wayne Koestenbaum, Helen Molesworth and Lisa Phillips and their contributions are additive. The reproductions of Pittman's paintings (surely a challenge to any graphic designer and color separator!) are simply splendid. The book is published by Skira Rizzoli and is as fine a monograph as could be imagined. Highly recommended. Grady Harp

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