Winning Colors, 2019
Through his signature interplay of text and image, Raymond Pettibon uses drawing to touch upon an endless variety of subjects, including literature, art, music, poetry, war, crime, and politics. He has produced countless memorable works over the past thirty years, gradually transforming from a cult figure within the Los Angeles underground to one of the most respected artists of his generation. In its skill and breadth, Pettibon’s work has also served as one of the strongest arguments for the primacy of drawing as a critical medium. His drawings and installations have been exhibited around the world, and his 2017 New Museum exhibition, “A Pen of All Work,” was one of the Museum’s most critically acclaimed to date. Created especially for this year’s gala, Pettibon’s work Winning Colors is an outstanding example of the artist’s large-scale drawings that combine image and text in thoughtful and stimulating ways. The work depicts the legendary American thoroughbred racehorse, Winning Colors, who won the Kentucky Derby in 1988. As with many of Pettibon’s drawings, the specific subject of the work is only a starting point, allowing both artist and viewer to reflect on American history, politics, and culture and the beauty of the natural world.
Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York/London/Hong Kong