Joyce Pensato has created a new mural for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s second floor Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Family Lobby, titled Felix and Lincoln (2012–13/2016). The nearly twenty foot-long mural depicts two images of a young Abraham Lincoln, a Chicago native, layered over an abstracted Felix the Cat painting, a favorite motif of the artist. While Pensato has exhibited photographs of her Brooklyn studio before, revealing paint-covered surfaces and source images covering the walls and floors, this marks a new format for the artist, in which she has expanded the photographs to monumental proportions.
One of Pensato’s paintings is also featured in Riot Grrrls, an MCA collection-based exhibition. In a challenge to the boys’ club sensibility that has historically shaped abstract painting, the eight female artists featured in the exhibition, which is named after the feminist hardcore punk movement that began in the 1990s, achieve mastery, innovation, and chutzpah in their brash and exciting paintings. Riot Grrrls presents Pensato along with painters Mary Heilmann, Charline von Heyl, Judy Ledgerwood, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, and Amy Feldman, and is on view on the museum’s fourth floor from December 17, 2016 through June 4, 2017.