Lari Pittman (American, b.1952) is a well-known painter who has played an important role in the Contemporary Art movement in the 20th and 21st centuries. Pittman was born in Los Angeles, CA. He obtained a BFA and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. His paintings are inspired by advertising, Folk Art, cultural traditions, and commercial icons. He combines this imagery with heavy paint and vivid color. Many of Pittman's works focus on personal rebellion against puritanical dichotomies, which tend to attack gay relationships and marriage. When he was growing up, Pittman was an effeminate child who loved to play dress-up with his mother's jewelry. Many of his images are inspired by his childhood experiences. The artist’s images explore the contrast between the beauty and pleasure of love, and the pain and violence that can go along with it.

Pittman had his first solo exhibition in 1982. This exhibition received mixed reviews due to the artist’s highly Abstract images, which were filled with personal symbolism. One of his most famous works, The Veneer of Order (1985), is featured in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, IL. It is a confrontational political piece that addresses the complex topic of feminism. One of the main characteristics of all Pittman's works is the myriad of kaleidoscope-inspired colors. In 1986, Pittman's work took a new direction. He created An American Place after he was the victim of a shooting which left him critically injured. The incident occurred one night when he discovered a burglar in his home. In his attempt to scare away the robber, he was shot in the stomach. The images in his painting following the attack depicted life and reproduction, as well as death.

Pittman's works have been on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY, and the Art Museum of U.C. in Santa Barbara, CA. Pittman is a member of the Board of Directors of Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and he currently works and resides in Los Angeles.

Timeline

1970–1973
University of California Los Angeles
1974
BFA California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA
1976
MFA California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA
1986
Member, Board of Directors Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA
Lives in Los Angeles, CA

Exhibitions

2010
Lari Pittman: New Paintings and Orangerie, Regen Projects, Los Angeles (solo)
2010
Nature, Gerhardsen Gerner, Berlin
2010
The Library of Babel / In and Out of Place, curated by Anna-Catharina Gebbers,176 Zabludowicz Collection, London
2010
Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art since the 1960s, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio
2010
Disquieted, Portland Art Museum, Portland
2010
R for Replicant, CCA Wattis Institute for the Arts, San Francisco
2009
“Lari Pittman,” Gerhardsen Gerner, Berlin (solo)
2008
Lari Pittman”, Gladstone Gallrey, New York
2008
“Not So Subtle Sub-Title”, curated by Matthew Brannon, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York
2008
“Collecting Collections”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2008
“Some Paintings: The Third (2007) LA Weekly Annual Biennial”, curated by Doug Harvey, Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica
2008
"Eyes Wide Open," Stedelijk Museum & The Monique Zajfen Collection, Amsterdam
2007
“Uneasy Angel/Imagine Los Angeles,” Monika Spruth Philomene Magers, Munich
2007
"Eden's Edge: Fifteen LA Artists," Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
2007
"Post Dec: Beyond Pattern and Decoration," Joseloff Gallery, Hartford
2007
"Imagine Los Angeles," Monika Sprüth, Munich
2007
"Lari Pittman," Regen Projects II, Los Angeles
2006
Infinite Painting: contemporary Painting and Global Realism, Francesco Bonami, Villla Manin Centro d'Arte Contemporanea
2006
"Hollywood Is A Verb," The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica, CA
2006
"Couples Discourse," Palmer Museum of Art, University Park, Pennsylvania
2006
"Lari Pittman," Atle Gerhardsen, Berlin (solo)
2005
Gladstone Gallery, New York (solo)
2005
“Lari Pittman,” Villa Arson, Nice, February 26 – May 22 (solo)
2005
Bidibidobidiboo: Works from Collezione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, ed. Francesco
2004
“The Charged Image,” Joseleff Gallery, University of Hartford, Connecticut.
2004
greengrassi, London, October 06 – November 13 (solo)
2003
Regen Projects, Los Angeles, November 01 – December 20 (solo)
Galerie Philomene Magers, Munich, Germany, March 20 – May 10 (solo)
2003
"Pittura/Painting,” la Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
2003
"Inaugural Exhibition," Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA
2003
“I and My Chimney,” Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne, Germany
2002
"Sugar & Cream," Triple Candie, New York, New York
2002
“L.A. Post-Cool,” San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA,
2002
Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York, March 23 – May 4 (solo)
2001
Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA, January 27 - February 24 (solo)
2001
"IN FUMO," Galleria of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bergamo, Italy
2001
"Secret Victorians," The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA
2000
"00," Barbara Gladstone Gallery
2000
Studio Guenzani, Milan, Italy, October 3 - November 7 (solo)
1999
Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York, November 6 - December 23 (solo)
1999
"The American Century: Art and Culture, 1900-2000,” Whitney Museum of American
1998
"Once a Noun, Now a Verb," Regen Projects, Los Angeles (solo)
1996
White Cube, London (solo)
1995
"Like You,” Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
1994
Jay Gorney Modern Art, New York (solo)
1993
Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)

Literature

2007
Imagination Becomes Reality: An Exhibition on the Expanded Concept of Painting, Sammlung Goetz and Museum für Neue Kunst, 2007
2006
Couples Discourse, Palmer Museum of Art, Pennsylvania, 2006
2006
Infinite Painting: contemporary Painting and Global Realism, Francesco Bonami, Villla Manin Centro d'Arte Contemporanea, 2006
2006
Bidibidobidiboo: Works from Collezione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, ed. Francesco
2005
Bonami, Skira Editore S.p.A., Milano, 2005.
2005
Populence, published by Blaffer Gallery, The Art Museum of the University of Houston,
2004
Disparities & Deformations: Our Grotesque, published by Site Santa Fe, 2004, pp. 102–103, ill.
2004
Art At Work: Forty Years of The JP Morgan Chase Collection, published by The Chase Manhattan Corporation, New York, p. 235 ill.
2003
Painting Pictures: Painting and Media in the Digital Age, published by Kerber Verlag, Bielfeld, Germany, pp. 80, 143 170-171,ills.
2003
Dreams and Conflicts: The Dictatorship of the Viewer, la Biennale di Venezia, 50th International Art Exhibition, published by Marsilio Editori, Venice, May, 2003, pp. 462