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A Conversation With Raymond Pettibon at the Pomona College Museum of Art

The Pomona College Museum of Art is pleased to announce that Raymond Pettibon will appear in conversation with Pomona College Professor Arden Reed on Wednesday, April 5 at 4:15 p.m. in the Museum. This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition “Ed Ruscha/Raymond Pettibon: The Holy Bible and THE END,” on view through April 9, 2006.

Born in Tucson, Arizona, in 1957, Raymond Pettibon is best known for pen and ink drawings that blur the distinction between “high” and “low” art. Because he never attended art school, instead earning a degree in economics, Pettibon remained a relative outsider in the Los Angeles art scene until the 1990s. After a brief stint as a high-school math teacher, Petttibon became involved with the 1980s Los Angeles punk scene, designing flyers and album covers for bands such as Sonic Youth and the Minutemen. Greg Ginn, Pettibon's older brother and a founding member of the seminal punk band Black Flag, released several of Pettibon's artist books through his influential SST Records. These books and album covers established his influential position as a figurative artist dealing with raw and often deviant combinations of popular culture such as comic books, film and TV, and sports; sub-cultures such as the punk rock music scene and the surfing community; and literary sources that include the Bible, Henry James and Marcel Proust.

Interest grew in his unusual pairing of cartoon-like images, pop culture iconography, and literary quotations and, in the early 1990s, Pettibon moved from cult figure to established artist. In 1991 he received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation award, and one year later he was included in the “Helter Skelter: L.A. Art in the 1990s” exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Retrospectives of his work have been held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Santa Monica Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona; Galleria d'Arte Moderni di Bologna; and the Muesion-Museo d'Arte Moderno e Contemporanea in Bolzano, Italy. Pettibon has also been featured in Documenta XI in Kassell, Germany and in the Whitney Biennial in New York City; in 2004 he won the Whitney Museum of American Art's 2004 Bucksbaum award.

Pomona College Professor of English Arden Reed will facilitate the conversation with Pettibon. Reed was recently awarded a 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship and will be the William S. Vaughn Fellow at Vanderbilt's Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities in 2006-07. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled Slow Art: From Tableaux Vivant to James Turrell. His most recent book was Manet, Flaubert, and the Emergence of Modernism (Cambridge University Press, 2004). He also writes regularly for Art in America.

The exhibition, “Ed Ruscha/Raymond Pettibon: The Holy Bible and THE END,” brings together two artists who deal with combinations of images and words and represents their collaborative work on the print series The Holy Bible and THE END, the second and third time that they have collaborated on works of art. Ruscha and Pettibon worked with master printer Ed Hamilton at the Hamilton Press to produce the exhibited work, in a collaboration that engaged all three. The result provides a rare opportunity to see their collaborative process.

The exhibition includes several states and proofs of the two collaborations, as well as new drawings related to the themes of the prints and the exhibition by both. The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color catalogue with an essay by scholar and critic Dave Hickey. Supporting texts include an essay by Ed Hamilton and Pettibon’s texts related to these themes.

The Pomona College Museum of Art, formerly the Montgomery Art Gallery, is located at 330 N. College Avenue, Claremont. The museum is open to the public and free of charge, Tuesday through Friday, from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call (909) 621-8283 or visit