Honor Fraser, Aspen
520 E Hyman Ave. Unit 1B
Aspen, CO 81611
Opening reception July 13, 2021 from 12pm to 6pm.
Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Richard Pettibone titled Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1990-2019, showcasing the artist’s careerlong study of modern art’s most iconic imagery. Ironically remarking upon his belief that “it’s just paint on a canvas,” Pettibone straddles the lines of Pop, Appropriation, and Conceptual Art, challenging his audience to question preconceived notions of talent, authorship, craft, and originality.
Premiering at Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles during the summer of 1962, Andy Warhol’s debut solo exhibition of 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans rocked the contemporary art world. Many who saw the show were dumbfounded, even infuriated, that an artist would reduce the medium to such a mundane and commercial aspect of American culture. As a recent graduate of Otis Art Institute, Richard Pettibone was awestruck by the impact of Warhol’s simultaneously candid and controversial approach to fine art. Citing the Ferus Gallery show as one of the primary influences of his practice, Pettibone has taken Warhol’s method of seriality and replication even further, painstakingly returning to and analyzing the legacy of the Campbell’s Soup Can in modern art history.
Since the 1960s, Richard Pettibone’s infatuation with objectifying and breaking down the monolithic figures of his contemporaries inspired miniaturized reinterpretations of works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Jasper Johns, and Marcel Duchamp. While the creative output of these artists can be seen as markedly different, their individual influences upon the trajectory of 20th century art, culture, and media are undeniable. Referring to his own paintings as realist interpretations, Pettibone imbues each piece with subtle alterations, specific to his own hand, through variations in color scheme, scale, perspective, and installation. The altered scale of Pettibone’s replications grants the viewer an alternate perspective on iconic images, recontextualizing the work of artists whose careers were centered upon themes of appropriation themselves. By revisiting the mythology of his central influences, Pettibone is able to comment on modern art’s confrontation of art history, questioning and challenging the constructs of the art world he came of age in.
Throughout the course of his career, Pettibone has reinterpreted several sets of Andy Warhol’s soup cans, some entirely hand painted, some screen-printed, both exploring the Ferus design and the lesser known Monchengladbach type. While Warhol’s original works reflect the impact of popular culture upon American sensibilities, Pettibone’s reiterations speak to the context in which these art works became cultural icons in and of themselves. In a paradoxical twist on the initial reception of the Ferus Gallery show, what Pettibone offers us in the exhibition of Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1990-2020 is far beyond any literal replication of a series of paintings. Instead the artist has presented us with a conceptual portrait of his experience as a viewer, an experience simultaneously charged with irony and admiration, disillusionment and devotion.