Capitain Petzel is pleased to present the exhibition “LATER IS NOW” by New York based artist Joyce Pensato. For her second solo exhibition at the gallery, Pensato has created a new series of paintings and drawings. Also on view are new digital c-prints shot by the artist, showing some of her source material from the studio.
For many years Pensato has engaged with the expressive power of cartoon and comic book characters. Her large scaled enamel paintings show iconic figures such as Batman, Mickey Mouse and Homer Simpson, which she alters, layers, erases and deconstructs until they are no longer universally recognizable characters, but emblems of cultural reflection. In making familiar faces strange, her practice is positioned between the illustrative figuration of Pop Art and the gestural physicality of Abstract Expressionism.
The rawness of Pensato’s work contrasts with the exacting method of her painting practice. She paints with loose, even aggressive brushstrokes in a rapid-fire yet controlled manner. What has historically been a strictly black and white painting palette, has recently evolved into leaps of color, especially gold and copper.
In Joyce Pensato’s charcoal drawings colorful pastels have emerged over the years. The paper mostly has a battered patina, with some rubbed bare or torn areas, which reveal the artist’s gestural lines on the surface.
The digital c-prints display paint-scattered collages from Joyce Pensato’s studio walls. These juxtaposed images of President Abraham Lincoln with contemporary American celebrities give a glimpse into the artist’s source of inspiration, as they surround her daily working conditions. Similar to her paintings, these photographs seem to be spontaneous and automatic, but are actually carefully choreographed and autobiographical. In previous exhibitions, like her first one with Capitain Petzel in 2009, she brought objects from her studio into the gallery space. Through the collages these objects will be left behind, allowing the photographs to occupy the same two-dimensional spaces of those of her paintings and drawings.
Joyce Pensato was born in Brooklyn, New York, where she continues to live and work. The exhibition “LATER IS NOW“ will travel to Kunstraum Innsbruck in Spring 2016. Her touring solo show, “I Killed Kenny“, was first shown at the Santa Monica Museum of Art (2013) and then traveled to the Contemporary Art Museum of St Louis (2014). Recent group exhibitions include “Empire State”, curated by Alex Gartenfeld and Sir Norman Rosenthal, at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (2013); “Interior Visions: Selections from the Collection by Alex Katz” at the Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville (2012); and “A Painting Show” at The Speed Museum of Art, Louisville (2011). Pensato’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; SFMoMA, San Francisco; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Dallas Museum of Art; St Louis Art Museum and the FRAC des Pays de la Loire. She has won numerous awards including the Robert de Niro, Sr. Prize (2013), the Award of Merit Medal for Painting, given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2012), the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award (1997) and the Guggenheim Fellowship (1996).