31/08/2021 - 30/09/2021
New Work - Painting
Lari Pittman - Dioramas
Opening on the 31st of August, Lari Pittman: Dioramas will debut in London a suite of new paintings that reflect on the continued political and personal resonance of the past. Through a group of large-scale canvases to more intimate works, acclaimed Los Angeles-based artist Pittman draws on the rich history of the decorative arts, yielding optically dazzling compositions of interlocking forms and motifs that are dense with pictorial references and symbolism.
The larger body of works in the exhibition explore the linked histories of France and the United States, taking as its central subject a 19th-century parure: an ensemble of jewels meant to be worn together. Rendered in brilliant colors over darker grounds, turquoise and coral items of jewelry are framed by rope garlands and beset by creatures—caterpillars, moths, flies, rats, and ravens—that recall the iconography of Baroque still lifes.
Pittman emerged as an artist while attending the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in the mid-1970s. Deciding to be a painter instead of following the conceptual direction then predominant in Southern California, he found his intellectual grounding through the Feminist Art Program at CalArts, mentored by such prominent figures as art historian Arlene Raven and artists Vija Celmins, Elizabeth Murray, and Miriam Schapiro.
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