California-based artist began making his signature ink-wash drawings – combinations of cartoon-like images with short, enigmatic texts – in the 1980s. Since then he produced thousands of drawings in his unusual drafting style; framed or pinned directly on the wall, they are often combined by the dozens in no discernible order, like a giant scattered notebook. With solo exhibitions worldwide including a retrospective at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1994), Pettibon is considered one of the world’s most significant innovators of figurative art.Poet and novelist Dennis Cooper speaks with the artist about recurring obsessions such as baseball, film noir, surfers and the animated figure Gumby. Museum of Modern Art curator Robert Storr examines the full scope of Pettibon’s prolific career, setting the artist firmly within the tradition of Western figurative painting. Critic and curator Ulrich Loock looks at a single strand in Pettibon’s oeuvre: a drawing centring onthe character Vavoom. The artist has chosen three extracts from The Art of English Poesie by George Puttenham, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne, and Modern Painters by John Ruskin. This book also includes never-before-published scripts from as-yet-unmade videos on subjects from Jim Morrison to Hollywood.
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