Raymond Pettibon is an important figure in the American art world. He is famous for his association with the 1980s punk movement and the work he did for bands like Sonic Youth and Black Flag. Pettibon has developed what has by now become his signature style. His expressive, restless line work, often in stark black and white, is normally accompanied by several lines of text in his unique handwriting. The artist has brought writing and imagery together in the manner of graphic novels or comics, but presented it within the fine art world. This is a great feat in itself. The subject matter is suitably influenced by popular culture, television, film, music, the news, and various visual debris he has collected along the way. Pettibon’s treatment of his subject matter is different to the parallel pop art movement’s light and airy approach. Instead, he uses his work to both chronicle and critique aspects of culture and politics throughout the decades, beginning in the 1960s, and stretching all the way to now.
New York’s New Museum is holding a major retrospective of Pettibon’s work, his first solo show of this scale. The exhibitions fills up three floors of the gallery. Still, it only displays a fragment of his prolific output over the years. The works are a mixture of framed and frames pieces, including some never-before-seen works. The exhibition, titled Raymond Pettibon: A Pen of All Work, is up until 9 April. It’s one you don’t want to miss if you are in New York.