New York

Gary Panter

Gracie Mansion Gallery

Writing about Gary Panter’s art seemed a whole lot easier a few years ago than it is today. Certainly, part of this new, increased difficulty can be attributed to some changes in esthetic discourse within the art world itself; notably, that the distinction between “high” and “low” culture has become like a swampy muddle of co-optation, resistance, and retrenchment. Now, those two camps lob their artillery about without direction or definite cause at an invisible and equally fatigued ideological enemy. While the battle zone of recognized validity has become murkier, Panter’s own position has become less definite as well. He has moved beyond the basic lines of cartoonishness, punk rawness, and gnarly West Coast monster art, fusing his graphic sensibilities into an intricate and emotionally dense whole and evolving a far greater sophistication in terms of style and substance. The original

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