CAM is proud to present the first American solo museum exhibition of Los Angeles-based artist Lari Pittman in more than 15 years. Over the past three decades, Pittman has developed a body of work that is internationally celebrated for its exuberant use of color and painstakingly rendered detail to address such contentious subjects as sexuality, desire, and violence. His multilayered depictions of images and signs—ranging from human figures and body parts to animals, plants, furniture, text, and even credit cards—meditates on the overwhelming richness and sadness of everyday life. Pittman’s primarily large-scale paintings combine a visual breathlessness with a highly acute and sophisticated formal logic. In recent years, his work has expanded in palette and also become more thematically oblique, exchanging the signature graphic imagery of his earlier paintings for greater visual density and a renewed concern for issues ranging from art history to the domestic sphere. Embracing the critical potential of figurative painting, Pittman provides incisive commentary on the medium’s ability to intertwine the personal with the political. CAM’s exhibition will feature a selection of paintings and works on paper from the last 20 years and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog.
Lari Pittman (b. 1952, Los Angeles) lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been shown in more than 40 solo exhibitions, including at Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2013) and Villa Arson, Nice, France (2005). Traveling exhibitions include Once a Noun, Now a Verb (Spacex Gallery, Exeter, UK; Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK; ICA, London; and Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva; 1998); and Lari Pittman (Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; and Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; 1996-97). Pittman has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including This Will Have Been: Art, Love, and Politics in the 1980s at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston (2012); Documenta X, Kassel Germany (1997); the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1997, 1995, 1993, 1987); and Helter Skelter: L.A. Art in the 1990s, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1992). Pittman was featured in Season Three of the PBS documentary series, Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century and is the recipient of the Skowhegan Medal (2002) and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant in Painting (1993, 1989, 1987), among many awards. Pittman received a BFA and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. He is Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Lari Pittman: A Decorated Chronology is organized by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and curated by Kelly Shindler, Assistant Curator.