Pensato favored pop culture flotsam marred by the real world, which she transmuted into adventurous artworks dealing with raw, real world concerns.
Knock Knock throws art viewers into the weird situation of laughing at the overspecialization of our language in that language, deriding the exclusivity of in-jokes with further in-jokes
Pensato’s work is about grand gestures and not backing down.
Opening in the shadow of the Paris attacks, the exhibition Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner represents — as Adam Weinberg, the director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, said in his remarks at the press preview — “a celebration of what matters in life.”
Contemporary artists and a few artists from yesteryear are exploring unorthodox and atypical ways to experience the contrast between black and white.
Joyce Pensato is best known for her stark, large-scale paintings of cartoon characters and in particular for her series of Batman paintings that depict the cape crusader’s iconic mask using splashy skeins of black and white paint.
Joyce Pensato draws in charcoal and paints in enamel — dense, clinging soot and viscous liquid. For years her palette has been black, white and silver, though color is beginning to make an appearance in her recent paintings, mostly as splatters and drips. The drawing process is one of making marks, rubbing them out and making more marks, with line being the essential form. In the paintings, the line is made of enamel that initially appears to have been applied quickly, though its varying densities and its field of drips and splatters makes it clear that it wasn’t done in a single shot. In both drawing and painting Pensato is committed to finding the linear form that captures her subject matter, be it Homer Simpson, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Batman, Groucho Marx, Felix the Cat, toy clowns, or not-so-cuddly monkeys.
With the exhibition Pretty on the Inside, co-curators KAWS and Erik Parker reveal that they must be fans of the Courtney Love-led band Hole’s debut album and song for which it is named, but they also make us wonder about the show’s connection to the music.