Los Angeles

Los Angeles

“LARI PITTMAN: DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE”

Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard
September 29, 2019–January 5, 2020

Curated by Connie Butler with Vanessa Arizmendi

When Lari Pittman adopted painting as a young queer artist in the 1970s, he saw the medium as a pleasurable opportunity to “fix something up.” With this can-do attitude—and its hints of an interior decorator’s fey obsessiveness—Pittman performed an energetic pirouette around the dour discussions of painting’s death. This career retrospective (the artist’s first) includes more than eighty works and proves that painting, for Pittman, has always been an occasion for conjecture (another one of his long-espoused bonnes idées), even when references to Leonor Fini, Natalia Goncharova, Henri Matisse, or Remedios Varo are abundant. The exhibition will also features a re-creation of the artist’s Orangerie, the sensuous, atmospheric survey of works on paper he debuted in 2011. In the original staging, dozens of pieces were hung salon style atop a wall painting of a trellis—a decorative flourish suggesting that the medium of painting is not the only thing in need of fixing up. Travels to Kistefos Museum, Jevnaker, Norway, May 24–October 5, 2020.