from the Eighties
22 May 2008 - 19 July 2008
at BFAS Blondeau
Fine Art Services,
70 Drawings from the 80s by the American artist Raymond Pettibon are exhibited under the title Punk Epocha until July in Geneva.
Raymond Pettibon, born in 1957 in Tucson, Arizona, grew up in Los Angeles, where he still lives today.
In the late 70s he defined punk’s image by creating fanzines, flyers, posters and album covers for
groups such as Black Flag, Minutemen, Sonic Youth,...
Music & Punk
"I’ve never been a musician, so I never felt restricted by the
association with punk. I never thought much about it. But in a way there was the quality of the music that came out of punk – and I think
there’s some pretty big stuff, especially considering the times. Just in that way it might have affected me, like it affected a lot of people." Raymond Pettibon in R. Storr, D. Cooper, U. Loock, Raymond Pettibon, Phaidon, New York 2001, pp.13,17
fig.: Raymond Pettibon, No title (I dig looking like …), 1985, pen and ink on paper, 30.5 x 23 cm. 12 x 9 in.
Definition of Art - Art Spaces
In the late 60s art was defined new and galleries, museums began to open their spaces for contemporary artistic methods to express personal views on our world.
"The minute I was working in what I consider to be
my mature style, which is from 1977 on, I considered my work as art, as much as any artist showing in galleries at that time. There’s
nothing I had to apologize for. My work never had anything to do with illustration, or commercial art, or advertising. The fact that some of
my drawings were used for record covers or advertisements doesn’t matter. They were never done with that context in mind. Where my
art is shown is pretty irrelevant to me. It’s nice to have an audience, but it could be just one or two people. [...] In some ways, I did prefer
those ways of showing my art to showing it in galleries. It’s not because of the nature of the work that I say that, it’s just more about my
attitudes in general. At this point, it would just mean more to me to go outside this frenetic gallery system where you’re preaching to the
converted. It’s a very small world." Raymond Pettibon
Pettibon's Punk soul deals openly with the collapse of all too short-lived hopes and demands of the generation of 1968. He says:
"Back in the punk days I
pointedly avoided contemporary references. My depictions of the nuclear bombs or hippies or whatever were references from the 1960s
and 1950s. The first time I ever did a drawing about punk was after the fact, in the late 1980s. But that’s really beside the point, because
I’m not a topical artist, and I usually maintain a historical distance from my subjects. It’s a kind of guilt by association thing, but it’s not
about guilt. It’s like the same thing with comic books, or illustration, cartoons, rock album covers. It’s a kneejerk response to the company
I happen to keep. [...] It just shows the obsession that society has with rock music and rock culture, nowhere more so than in art."
In his art work he combines images and fragmented texts to communicate feelings often imbued with grave humour, pathos or a
perfectly-judged mixture of the two.
The artist explores with ink and watercolor the myths of US culture and describes
a range of American clichés.
You will find typical "Pettibon" motifs in his work:
flames, speeding automobiles, bombs, explosions, the Bible, Stalin, Charles Manson,
Leonard Bernstein, LSD, suicide, orgies of violence, surgical operations, ...
Exhibitions Raymond Pettibon exhibits worldwide, to name a few: Whitney Bieniales (1993 and
1997), Bern Kunsthalle (1995), Barcelona's MACBA (2002),
Documenta 11 (2002), Vienna Kunsthalle (2006), ...
BFAS The consultancy firm is dealing with painting, drawing and sculpture
from 1820 to now. BFAS has exhibited artists such as Alex Brown, Dan McCarthy, Jerry Phillips, Jim Shaw or
Louise Lawler. The
company benefits from an art library of 11 000 titles.