Thursday, August 9, 2018

Raymond Pettibon: To Wit Hardcover – April 30, 2014 by Lucas Zwirner (Author), Raymond Pettibon (Artist), Kim Gordon (Contributor (David Zwirner Books)

 loved Raymond Pettibon: To Wit, the artist’s recent solo show at David Zwirner, and this beautifully designed exhibition catalog allows me to relive it, but with more insight! The DIY nature of the physical book—the cover is a cardboard-like material—mimics the title page and also wall text at the exhibition, which was hand-painted by Pettibon, and aptly captures a certain aesthetic of the artist. There are several phenomenal, full-page photographs that document the artist in the gallery space, where he moved his studio for 3 weeks leading up to the show to create and install the work. These behind-the-scenes shots provide an excellent portrayal of Pettibon’s nature and process. There is an array of magnificent installation views as well as over 70 images of individual works from the show. The photography is beautifully done and the color and clarity of the reproductions give the reader a real sense of the dimensionality and texture of the works.

The highlight for me is the essay by Lucas Zwirner, who spent the summer leading up to the exhibition assisting Pettibon. Lucas, a writer who clearly has an extensive knowledge of English literature, offers an incredible interpretation and understanding of Pettibon’s iconic language and prose. The interview between the artist and Kim Gordon is equally intimate. It reads more as a conversation between two old friends and touches upon the topics of Pettibon’s film work (some of which Kim acted in), his Twitter account (follow him @RaymondPettibon), and his political works.

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