New works of art–65 pieces to be exact–by the prolific CalArts alumnus, Lari Pittman (Art BFA 74, MFA 76), are currently wowing visitors at the Scott Galleries in The Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif.
Lari Pittman: Mood Books consists of six oversized illustrated books, each measuring more than four feet wide opened; each one installed on a pedestal designed by Los Angeles-based architect Michael Maltzan. Gallery staff change the viewing spreads regularly, and a touch screen displays all the paintings and text sequentially. Lorraine Wild, longtime School of Art faculty in CalArts’ Program in Graphic Design, collaborated with Pittman on the books’ elegant typography. Additionally, The Huntington also presents an online exhibition of the work.
The dazzlingly layered paintings display many of Pittman’s signature strengths. The complex, hallucinatory narratives are informed by the artist’s seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of art historical visual strategies, his passion for form-making, and his wild imagination–all of which are tempered by what Pittman calls his “devotion to craft.” Diana W. Thompson, in her Huntington blog post, writes, “Combined with Pittman’s brilliant draftsmanship and acidic color, the images advance an astute and acerbic social commentary embedded in narratives rich with real and invented mythologies.” Pittman’s titles for the illustrations add a verbal dimension to the work and provide additional clues to the artist’s intentions and explorations.
Pittman’s works reside in prestigious public and private collections throughout the world. These include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museo de Arte Contemporana, Monterrey, Mexico; Phoenix Museum of Art, Arizona; Yale University Art Museum; the Broad Foundation, Los Angeles; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
A recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, Pittman has also received a Getty Fellowship for the Visual Arts. His work is represented by Regen Projects, Los Angeles; Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York; Studio Guenzani, Milan; and Thomas Dane Gallery, London.
Lari Pittman: Mood Books is on view through Feb. 20, 2017.
Lari Pittman: Mood Books
Sept. 3, 2016 through Feb. 20, 2017
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino
Tickets: general $23-25; discounted tickets starting at $10; free for members