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The work of Raymond Pettibon (Tucson, Arizona, 1957) follows in the wake of a generation of artists from Los Angeles that includes John Baldessari, Edward Rusch and Jim Shaw. Along with Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley, Pettibon is a clear exponent of a type of artistic tradition that originated in the West Coast, under the influence of the confrontation between underground subcultures and the fictions churned out by the Hollywood industry.

With its mix of images and words, Pettibon’s work could be said to begin at the point where comic strip illustrators and pop artists such as Roy Lichtenstein leave off. The sources of his “fictions” (as he calls them) are many and varied: from Goya and Honoré Daumier to the imaginary of television series, magazines and comics, literary references like Marcel Proust, Henry James and William Blake and pulp fiction.

The exhibition Raymond Pettibon brought together around a thousand drawings on paper, five videos, and murals specifically designed and executed by Pettibon for the MACBA building, as well as music, books and documents from the artist’s archives. The material as a whole confirmed the heterogeneity of an oeuvre in which mass culture is intertwined with religion, sex and art.

The show of the work of the American artist Raymond Pettibon (Tucson, Arizona, 1957) includes a broad selection of drawings, video screenings and materials from the artist's archive.

His creations reveal his fascination with sixties American counterculture. Other references of his are Goya's etchings, film noir or fifties and sixties children's television programmes, which appear as fragmented signs in a discourse which is critical of the images which sponsor the cultural power of the time. By combining image and word, Pettibon's work starts at the point where the work of other cartoon and comic artists, or Pop Art artists, such as Roy Lichtenstein, ends.

Itinerances

24 MAY - 15 AUG. 2002 Tokyo Opera House
28 JUNE - 22 SEP. 2002 Musée Departemental d'Art Contemporain de Rochechouart
14 DEC. 2002 - 09 MAR. 2003 Museum voor Actuele Kunst, La Haye 
08 FEB. - 11 APR. 2002 Museum galleries

I like to work with what is often called "cultural heritage", but the materials that I use are banal and clichéd, like sugar blocks, doors, couscous, rugs, official documents.
Latifa Echakhch