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Lari Pittman: Declaration of Independence


On View: September 29 – January 5, 2020

Colombia-raised, LA-based painter and beloved UCLA art teacher Lari Pittman has been a presence in the L.A. art scene since the early 1990s. Now you can find an eye-popping retrospective of the artist’s work at The Hammer, featuring 80 paintings and 50 works on paper, many of them huge, most of them layered with rich color, texture and symbolism.

Influenced by the AIDS crisis and the punk scene of the early 1990s, Pittman’s paintings explores themes — love, sex, feminism, gender, citizenship and race — that resonate today. The interest he receives from younger artists, says Pittman, makes him now “a church elder of sorts.” His works are also saturated with ornament and decoration. Shown above is Pittman in his “non-modernist” Orangerie (adapted from a 2010 installation at his longtime gallery Regen Projects) which features works on paper against vividly-patterned walls.

Coming up on KCRW soon: Lindsay Preston Zappas reviews the show on Greater LA; interviews with the artist will air on Press Play and DnA.