Action Calling

Raymond Pettibon’s oeuvre is a speeding train car off its rails.

No Title (The Paper Cut…), 2004. Gouache and ink on paper. Raymond Pettibon, private collection courtesy of David Zwirner. No Title (Is That Not…), 2011. Pen, ink, and acrylic on paper. Collection of Maurice Marciano, Los Angeles, Raymond Pettibon, courtesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles. 

Touching upon both the universal and the personal, Pettibon’s works transport viewers to the fork in the road in their mind’s eye. The choices that need to be made either consciously or subconsciously. The thoughts that suspend sleep, the moments that exhilarate as well as frighten. The reminder that we are in charge of our destiny. For the first time in Israel, over 100 works by Raymond Pettibon will be on display at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art through April 2020. 

Since the 1990s, Pettibon has been known as a key figure for his critique of American culture and politics. The artist weaves his affinity for high and low brow culture – literature, history, popular culture, and sexuality – into drawings that feature thought provoking imagery and tounge-in-cheek phrases. The duality of text alongside imagery provides the viewer with an experience that pushes the viewer beyond a passive approach to engaging with art. Left with a deeper understanding of human behavior and circumstance, Pettibon crafts a portal for viewers to experience his art. Though the works represent specific instances and eras in America, the themes touched upon are universal and timeless. 

Irith Hadar, curator of the exhibition on Pettibon’s collection: “Clusters of motifs identified with his work (surfers, baseball players, and Charles Manson) and of the major themes it addresses (including capitalism, the American government, and the war in Iraq) are intertwined in the exhibition alongside a selection of drawings relating to art itself and engaging with the artist’s social status and human condition.”

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