Artist: Lari Pittman
Venue: Regen Projects, Los Angeles
Exhibition Title: From A Late Western Impaerium
Date: November 9 – December 21, 2013
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles
Regen Projects is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Los Angeles-based artist Lari Pittman. On view will be three monumental paintings, two large canvases, and multiple series of drawings. Pittman has exhibited at Regen Projects since 1995, and this will be his seventh show at the gallery.
Pittman’s From A Late Western Impaerium constructs a loose narrative of nationhood that travels between our present time and the distant past. The compositionally dense works play with the social and current realities of today, with an interest in ornamentation and surface, and draw on the legacy of history as told through the Western canon of painting and the applied arts. Pittman poses the question of what a contemporary “history painting” might be today.
The centerpiece of the exhibition features three mural-sized paintings. Entitled Flying Carpet with a Waning Moon Over a Violent Nation; Flying Carpet with Magic Mirrors for a Distorted Nation; and Flying Carpet with Petri Dishes for a Disturbed Nation; the works combine meticulously detailed and multi-layered imagery that is at once heavily abstracted and referential. Tropes of violence and devastation are ‘woven’ through the canvases, in the manner of a tapestry or elaborately constructed rug. Pittman interlaces weapons, architectural schematics, and skewed portraits within this web. These three propositions encourage a navigation of varying perspectives—whether through the telescopic crosshairs of a rifle lens, or in the blank reflections of hand-held mirrors, or among molecular cultures in a petri dish—that resist facile readings or easy identifications.
To accompany the epic “Flying Carpets,” Pittman will include two large paintings, Needlepoint Sampler (with Patches) Depicting Daily Life of a Late Western Impaerium #1 and #2, which represent the applied (and generally female identified) art of imagery within needlepoint hoops. Abstract figures resembling dolls and caged birds in these two works are both hemmed in and given visibility by the circumference of the additional framing device.