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Exhibition of Paintings and Works on Paper by Lari Pittman at Regen Projects
Lari Pittman, Installation view: New Paintings. Regen Projects II, Los Angeles. September 11 - October 23, 2010. Photo: Brian Forrest.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Regen Projects presents an exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Lari Pittman. New Paintings, on view at Regen Projects II, will present seven large-scale and three mid-size paintings. Concurrently on view at Regen Projects will be Orangerie, a comprehensive survey of Lari Pittman's works on paper from 1980–2010. This historical exhibition will include over 100 works on paper, hung salon-style over the artist-designed trellis pattern that will adorn the gallery walls. Orangerie will provide a unique and unparalleled opportunity to view the history and breadth of Pittman's artistic practice. Pittman's work incorporates a cacophony of color, the blending of figuration and abstraction, an intricate and multi-faceted surface, and an expansive and oscillating image field to create an idiosyncratic visual vocabulary rooted in, and in constant discourse with, the history of painting. A formal and conceptual tension is always at play. This tension is structured and informed by ever-present dichotomies: renewal/decay, secular/sacred, decorative/grotesque, hot/cold, sweet/toxic, taste/kitsch, mannered/unpredictable, transparency/opacity. The following quotes are from a forthcoming monograph on Lari Pittman's work, which will be published by Rizzoli and released in the spring of 2011.

"I, as viewer, am hooked; conversely, interpretation tries (and fails) to pinion the artist, who has, in a preemptive strike, harpooned the medium of narrative painting itself — he holds its historical burdens in a nervous, loving grip. Certainly the dynamic motion in a Pittman painting stimulates in me the itch to capture, and yet the act of capture remains suspended…Pittman postpones painting's death for another century; he permits painting to be paradoxically flat and deep, an art of sequential yet simultaneous happening, where a ribald, carbonated frenzy forbids the depressed medium its tropism toward the comatose and the glum."

(Wayne Koestenbaum. "The Brute Force of High Tea" in Lari Pittman, published by Rizzoli, 2011)

"That helps me think about the enormous role Los Angeles plays in the work. One of the things I've been thinking about your work is how much transparency there is in it. There's always a moment when I'm looking at a thing and then I realize that I'm also looking through that thing at something behind it. This effect means that the spatial construction in your work is very complicated. I had this realization the other day as I was thinking about your paintings when I was walking, I thought: "I wonder if Lari's paintings are actually about driving?" I had this flash of the world through the windshield, complete with the rearview and side mirrors, the world encapsulated in all of those glassy reflective planes. I was very aware that as a pedestrian on the East Coast that is not how the world looks and smells."

(Helen Molesworth in conversation with Lari Pittman in Lari Pittman, published by Rizzoli, 2011)

"That Pittman has proudly camped up his art yet despite its fizz has stayed true to a gentle nature that has inflected his art from the outset, and that he does so still even as the mood of his work has visibly darkened while becoming more arcane, more brittle, suggest that Sontag's observation that "in naïve, or pure, Camp, the essential element is seriousness, a seriousness that fails" can be reversed by an artist, such as Pittman, who is not all naïve, and result in a flighty or decorative art that succeeds in speaking the truth where seriousness cannot, and so in its apparent superficiality replaces seriousness as the vehicle for meaning and feeling."

(Robert Storr in Lari Pittman, published by Rizzoli, 2011)

Lari Pittman's work has been the subject of several exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States. Solo exhibitions include Villa Arson, Nice; ICA, London; Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; and Corcoran Museum, Washington DC. Pittman has been awarded the J. Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts Fellowship Grant in Painting, NEA Fellowship Grants in Painting, and the Skowhegan Medal for Painting. An upcoming comprehensive monograph on Lari Pittman's work will be published by Rizzoli and will be released in the spring of 2011.

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