The incredible detail and complexity of Lari Pittman’s mesmerizing paintings are presented in this retrospective book.
One of the most prolific and exuberant painters of the past three decades, Lari Pittman creates works that mirror the social fabric of his time. This dazzling volume follows Pittman’s trajectory as his visual language evolved and his technical mastery grew ever more sophisticated. From his early works— defiant affirmations of identity in the increasingly conservative 1980s—to his more recent subjects that feature emblems of cultural regression and commercialism, Pittman’s paintings are uniquely operatic and ambitious. This book features over sixty paintings and thirty drawings, including Pittman’s muralscale series Flying Carpets. Alongside these illustrations are essays that place Pittman’s imagery within both Modernism and recent histories of Los Angeles, and examine the work’s political commentary as well as its many literary references. Serving as a cipher for the political tensions around the body and transcultural identity, Lari Pittman emerges as an artist who speaks truth to power through a visual language that reflects the contemporary world.
CONNIE BUTLER is Chief Curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. She is the author of Marisa Merz and coauthor of Scorched Earth and Made in L.A. 2014 (all by Prestel).