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Raymond Pettibon at MCQ Fine Art

The little house-gallery on Seventh Street delivers one of the biggest shows of the fall, by one of the critical darlings of contemporary art, Raymond Pettibon. MCQ Fine Art has a batch of his drawings and prints, opening Thursday, September 14, 6-8 p.m.

Pettibon is an art enigma, a massively productive (his show earlier this year at New York’s New Museum contained around 700 pieces) creator of works that usually combine drawings with snatches of prose. There’s a deliberately coarse quality to his work, owing in part to his roots in the SoCal punk scene and its DIY graphic sensibility (he created album covers and fliers for the band Black Flag). Sourced from such diverse topics as sports, politics, religion, sexuality, and pop culture, the images’ deceptively offhand look often conceals, as critic Peter Schjeldahl noted in The New Yorker, links to art history (Goya, medieval religious paintings).

Likewise, the prose fragments are often his own, but some are pulled from other sources, their pairing with images governed by an allusional, sometimes non-sequitur logic that elevates the phrases above simple captioning. “He has intrigued and befuddled a growing audience since the late 1970s,” Schjeldahl wrote. He meant that in a good way.

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Sounds like a show worth seeing. It’ll be up through November 3.


MCQ Fine Art Advisory

620 S. 7th St.

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