PRINT December 1995

Boris Groys


RAYMOND PETTIBON’s show at the Bern Kunsthalle was the best confirmation that one can put together work that doesn’t completely give itself up, or away, on first glance, as is unfortunately too often the case with art today. Hung closely together on the walls, the hundreds of drawings, reminiscent of cartoons in their blend of word and text, demand to be read from one picture to the next in pursuit of hidden contexts, stories, and meanings, but the viewer’s quest—the experience of more and more of them—is never frustrating, because each drawing is individually self-contained and wonderfully poetic. Pettibon creates a perfect balance between the autonomy of a single drawing and the place of that drawing in the totality of the show. By the end one is left with a pleasant feeling of tiredness, an all-too-rare sensation after seeing a show these days.


The gravest

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