This afternoon I made my way to the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis to see the Lari Pittman exhibit. Lari Pittman is an Los Angeles based painter and is a professor of painting and drawing at UCLA.
Lari Pittman: A Decorated Chronology is his first solo exhibition in an American museum in almost 20 years. His work reflects a wide range of influences, which include feminism, pop art, American consumer culture, and Latin American and Eastern European folk art. The works are large in scale, dense, detailed, sometimes graphic, and very colorful. The works take on a variety of subjects that are both personal and sometimes political, sexual, and violent. These aspects in his work are to experience the richness and sadness in everyday life. There is a lot going on in these works.
One work I enjoyed is called, Like You (1995). It is a giant, mural sized work made up of interacting signs to create a energetic, urban, celebratory landscape. It is an ecstatic piece filled with images of communication, technology, religion, and sex. The artist is illustrating what he “has referred to as the “aria” or “climax” of representation, in which the senses reach their most fully realized state.” To me this one seemed the most “pop” with it’s Lichtenstein-ian heavy outlines and stylized patterns and textures.