Lari Pittman, This Expedition, Beloved and Despised, Continues Regardless, 1989. Collection of the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features artist Lari Pittman. This is one of my very, very favorite Pittmans. It’s wonderfully defiant: It asserts the immutability of sexual desire and sexual orientation. Best of all, it does so with a Rauschenbergian smirk: Painting is decorative? Fine. I’ll embrace both painting and my sexual orientation by winking at a cliched stereotype: Gay men are decorative decorators. OK, here are some pretty flowers. None of these things are going away, so let’s all deal with them. And here, in my painting, we’re going to deal with them on my terms. On this week’s podcast, Pittman talks eloquently about biography and how it factors into his work. Don’t miss it.
One of Pittman’s most important paintings, The Veneer of Order (1985) is featured in the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago exhibition “This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s.” The thesis of the exhibition, which was curated by Helen Molesworth, is that the political, often confrontational art of the 1980s had its roots in feminist art of the preceding decade. Pittman’s painting, and indeed his oeuvre, is a clear example of how feminist discourse and art motivated art in and after the ’80s. [Aside: The Yale University Press-published catalogue for the show is fantastic — and it’s 40% off here.]
To download or subscribe to The Modern Art Notes Podcast via iTunes, click here (or click on the image). To download the program directly, click here. To subscribe to The MAN Podcast’s RSS feed, click here. You can stream the program and see images of art discussed on this week’s show here.
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