Welcome to Joyceland. The beauty, wonder and boldness of Joyce Pensato's world.
Joyce Pensato paints exuberant, explosive likenesses of cartoon characters and comic-book heroes.
For her exhibition at Lisson Gallery, she showed paintings featuring Batman, Donald Duck and various characters from The Simpsons. Included among them was a darkened visage of Homer Simpson crossed with Groucho Marx as well as Marge from Hell, Pensato’s giant pastel and charcoal drawing.
The New York-based painter Joyce Pensato also transported the majority of her Brooklyn studio (which she refers to as ‘Joyceland’) to Lisson Gallery, bringing her stuffed animals, talking toys, plastic action figures and collaged ephemera of postcards, found adverts and posters that she refers to and draws inspiration from for her paintings.
Her seemingly frenzied painting technique – actually involving the deliberate accretion of successive layers of bold linear gestures, rapid repainting and frequent erasures – results in alternately humorous and sinister imagery. Pensato paints almost exclusively in shop-bought black and white enamel, while also employing charcoal and pastel for smaller-scale drawings. There are occasional leaps away from the monochrome world she generally inhabits into sporadic bursts of colour, especially silver and gold.
Joyce Pensato was born in Brooklyn, New York, where she continues to live and work. Her touring solo show, I Killed Kenny, first shown at the Santa Monica Museum of Art (2013) is now travelling to the Contemporary Art Museum of St Louis (24 January-13 April 2014). Solo exhibitions include Santa Monica Museum of Art (2013); Petzel Gallery (2012, 2008, 2007) Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago (2012) and Galerie Anne de Villepoix (2010, 2000, 1998). 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); A Painting Show at The Speed Museum of Art, Louisville (2011) and The Darker Side of Playland: Childhood Imagery from the Logan Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2000). 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).
Joyce Pensato | filmed by Out of Sync | NYC April 2014
Interview | Jesper Bundgaard
Camera and edit | Per Henriksen
Producer | Out of Sync
Artworks courtesy | Joyce Pensato
© Out of Sync 2016