With a career that spans over 40 years, Lari Pittman is a seminal figure in the Los Angeles art scene, having studied at the California Institute of the Arts in the mid-1970s, and subsequently developing a particularly Californian aesthetic in his intensely colourful and hyper-detailed paintings. Drawing on influences including commercial graphics and the tradition of Central and Latin American mural and devotional painting, Pittman’s imagery reflects in hallucinatory and layered ways on the nature of cultural symbolism and the role of painting under today’s social realities.
For Pittman’s Self-determination suite of editions for the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the artist has developed three characters, rendered in his familiarly flattened yet graphically layered style, and carried out in his trademark hues of blue, red and green respectively. Printed as a digital archival print with hand separated gloss silkscreen elements, each edition has been closely developed with Lari. With their references to cultural traditions and personal rebellion against puritanical dichotomies, the suite sits strongly within Pittman’s wider oeuvre.
Lari Pittman was born in Los Angeles, USA in 1952. He has a forthcoming solo exhibition at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles in 2018. Recent solo or joint exhibitions include Lari Pittman / Silke Otto-Knapp: Subject, Predicate, Object, Regen Projects, Los Angeles (2017); Grisaille, Ethics & Knots (paintings with cataplasms) Gerhardsen Gerner, Berlin (2016); Mood Books, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino (2016 – 2017); Nocturnes Thomas Dane Gallery, London (2016); NUEVOS CAPRICHOS, Gladstone Gallery, New York (2016); and Homage to Natalia Goncharova... When the avant-garde and the folkloric kissed in public, Proxy Gallery, Los Angeles (2015).