press release

The Bonnefantenmuseum is presenting the extensive retrospective A Pen of All Work by the American artist Raymond Pettibon. The exhibition includes over 600 works dating from the 1960s up to the present. Pettibon’s whole oeuvre is characterised by the inextricable link between text and image. A Pen of All Work is currently on view in the New Museum in New York and will travel on to the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht, where the exhibition will be held from June 2 to October 29, 2017. It is the first time in 15 years that Pettibon is giving a solo exhibition in the Netherlands.

Raymond Pettibon: A Pen of All Work

Pettibon (1957, Tucson, US) is undoubtedly one of the central figures in American contemporary art. His extensive oeuvre is difficult to pigeon-hole, and it forms a separate artistic category in itself, as it were. Since the late 70s, the American artist has created over 20,000 works, ranging from drawings, artist’s books and album cover designs to large-scale installations. In the 80s, he held cult hero status in the punk rock circuit in L.A. His designs were used for the LPs and flyers of such legendary bands as Sonic Youth and Black Flag. Pettibon developed a distinctively figurative style of slightly awkward black-and-white drawings inspired by cartoons and caricatures, combined with humorous and often morbid texts. The artist’s world is populated by a variety of characters from the American history of last century, such as sect leader Charles Manson, animation figure Gumby, Superman and several former presidents. In his interplay of text and image, and his great diversity of themes, Pettibon oscillates between historical reflection, poetic humour and sharp criticism. A Pen of All Work shows his exceptional and influential oeuvre, giving emphasis to the literary and intellectual qualities of his work.