Lisson Gallery at Frieze London 2019
18 September 2019
At Frieze London, coinciding with Lisson Gallery's presentation of works by the late Susan Hiller at Frieze Masters, homage is paid to another female artist whose recent death likewise caused shockwaves in the art community. Joyce Pensato (1941–2019) died in June following a short illness but it was decided, in conjunction with her wishes and her longstanding New York gallery, Petzel, to continue with the planned dual-presentation at the art fair with Stanley Whitney.
The mini-survey of Pensato works pays tribute to her irrepressible artistic force, as well as to her kinship with other American painters from Joan Mitchell to Christopher Wool. Known for her exuberant and expressive likenesses of cartoon characters and comic-book heroes, the presentation will include two of the artist’s distinguished Homer Simpson paintings, including the large-scale enamel on canvas, Groucho-Homer (2014) and Castaway Homer (2015) with metallic paint on canvas. Accompanying these towering behemoths of American sub-culture, the booth will also present an epic work on paper of Mickey Mouse, made in 2000, and a mischievous looking Donald Duck titled Moto Mouth from 2009. These works, simultaneously humorous and sinister, reflect the artist’s dynamic technique, involving the deliberate accretion of successive layers of bold linear gestures, rapid spattering and frequent erasures.
Alongside this, Whitney – also a Brooklyn-based painter and close friend of Pensato’s – will present four new oil-on-linen paintings: The Space of Possibility, Sing All Day, Four Corners and Gotham (all 2019). Whitney, who has been exploring the formal possibilities of colour within ever-shifting grids of multi-hued blocks since the mid-1970s, shows a similar affiliation for the art of the gesture, with expressive marks and passages seen across his paintings. These multicoloured paintings take their cue from early Minimalism, Color Field painters, jazz music and Whitney’s favourite historical artists, from Titian to Velázquez and Cézanne. This presentation complements Whitney’s solo exhibition at Lisson Gallery, opening on 2 October, focusing on the artist’s ‘Afternoon Paintings’ – smaller scale abstractions that echo the rhythms and colours of his morning painting session, but remixed with a new type of spontaneity and informality.
Frieze London is on view in Regent's Park from 3 – 6 October.
Image: Stanley Whitney, The Space of Possibility (2019), Oil on linen