Richard Pettibone

May 30, 2012

Los Angeles artist Richard Pettibone spent much of his childhood assembling model trains and airplanes. In the 1960s, just as Pop Art began gaining serious momentum, he utilized his model making skills to appropriate some of the genre’s most famous works, starting in 1964 with two miniature versions of Andy Warhol’s 1962 painting, Campbell Soup Can (Pepper Pot). Roberta Smith describes these early appropriations, one in green, the other in gray, and both stamped with Warhol’s name and his own: “He was making Pop Art and post-Pop Art early on and at the same time.” Soon after, he stretched miniature works by Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, and Ed Ruscha over tiny wooden bars. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, Pettibone continued to masterfully maintain the integrity of each piece while adding his personal flair and impeccable craft, yet on a minute scale. He paid tribute to sculpture with versions of Shaker furniture and Brancusi’s Endless Column. Remaining true to his fixations, Pettibone even devised a series of paintings that reproduced the original front covers of Ezra Pound’s modernist poetry. After countless solo exhibitions since 1965, Pettibone achieved a major retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia in 2005 where over 200 of his paintings and sculptures were on display. Represented by the Leo Castelli Gallery, Pettibone currently lives and works in New York.

“Richard Pettibone: A Retrospective.” Institute of Contemporary Art. University of Pennsylvania, 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2012.
Smith, Roberta. “Imitations That Transcend Flattery.” New York Times, 15 July 2005. Web. 26 Apr. 2012.


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