Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s

Feb 11–Jun 3, 2012

Raymond Pettibon’s prolific drawing practice broadly addresses the end of 1960s idealism and the evaporation of modernist distinctions between high and low culture. No Title (Without Much Reading) recalls Jackson Pollock’s (American, 1912–56) seminal drip paintings, and in No Title (To Dust Cover … Shut), these highbrow spatters become drops of blood, sullying a man in a suit who clutches a gunshot wound. The disjointed snippets of text, either invented by the artist or cribbed from literature and pop culture, often bear little or no connection to the images they seem to caption, a sly suggestion that perhaps one shouldn’t always believe what one reads. Pettibon’s indifference to authority and his do-it-yourself aesthetic are evidence of his punk sensibility, cultivated through his frequent collaborations with the West Coast punk rock band Black Flag.