Joyce Pensato, 2012 Batman (2012). All images via Friedrich Petzel Gallery
The Friedrich Petzel Gallery presents Batman Returns by New York-based artist Joyce Pensato, a blend of old and new work based around the Batman motif that Pensato has been working with since the mid 1970s. Drawing, painting, and photography are her chosen mediums in this exploration of pop culture past, with clowns, Homer Simpson, Groucho Marx, Mickey Mouse, and her own creation, “The Juicer,” on display in dripping hues of black, white, and gray to create a transmutation of this distinct cartoon culture. The trajectory of Pensato’s use of color is also evident; she has only recently began to incorporate color into her otherwise black-and-white world and this will be the first time this addition is on display.
Pensato is widely known for her marked interest in pop iconography in the post-Warhol era. Her abstractions of familiar cartoon visages reveal an arguable darkness beneath their fantastical facades. In addition, her assemblages of toys and stuffed animals give her two-dimensional art immediacy via three-dimensional collage. This tableaux of forgotten childhood accoutrements is also revealed through a series of photographs. These images, taken by Pensato at various times of day in her former studio, present the consequences of time inherent in her work.
Along with Pensato’s display at the Freidrich Petzel Gallery, an illustrated catalogue and accompanying essay by Ira G. Wool will be released. The book tracks Pensato’s three decades in her studio in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the development of her cartoon imagery.
Joyce Pensato is a Guggeinheim Fellowship recipient and has works on permanent display in the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; The Dallas Museum of Art; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the FRAC des Pays de la Loire, France. She attended the New York Studio School and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Joyce Pensato, Cartman (2010), via Friedrich Petzel Gallery
Joyce Pensato, Donald 2009 (2009)
- T. Sheena