Joyce Pensato: FORGETTABOUT IT
London, 19 May – 24 June 2017
‘FORGETTABOUT IT’, Joyce Pensato’s second exhibition with Lisson Gallery, features an entirely new body of work, encompassing large-scale paintings, drawings and a site-specific wallpaper installation. The exhibition sees the return of Pensato’s familiar cast of cartoon characters while marking important new developments in the artist’s practice in terms of movement, colour and scale.
An alumna of the New York Studio School in the 1970s, where she was mentored by influential artists including Mercedes Matter and Joan Mitchell, Pensato challenged the school’s strict figurative life drawing practice and painted directly from cardboard cut-outs, dolls and photographs as a replacement for the traditional fruit of still lifes. Her humorous, innovative and critical translation of comic-book imagery, combined with a ferocious application of paint, positions Pensato between the illustrative figuration of Pop Art and the gestural physicality of Abstract Expressionism.
While cartoons and cultural ephemera still provide her with subject matter, the works on display at Lisson Gallery speak more of Pensato’s ongoing experimentation with technique, as well as the positioning and fragmentation of figures. The exhibition features a series of four golden Donald Ducks, seemingly rocking and rolling in motion across the wall, which will be installed next to an over-three-metre-wide painting of Batman’s eyeless cowl, which stares out through the dripped, splashed surface of Pensato’s frenzied and sustained assault on the canvas. Further damage is done to another mask, this time through an obsessive peeling away of successive layers of the industrial-grade enamel paint. This act, which she says represents “an itch you cannot scratch”, mirrors the self-destructive nature of her drawings and suggests the origin of one of Pensato’s own alter-egos, ‘The Eraser’ (she also goes by ‘The Fizz’ and ‘The Godmother’, all the while channelling the spirit and energy of Gena Rowlands as 'Gloria').Read more
67 Lisson Street
Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00am – 6:00pm