Joyce Pensato

Batman Returns

January 12 - February 25, 2012

537 W 22nd Street

Friedrich Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce “Batman Returns,” the third exhibition of new work by the New York-based artist Joyce Pensato. An illustrated catalogue, published by 38th Street Publishers with an accompanying essay by Ira G. Wool, will be available on the occasion of the exhibition. The book commemorates the 32 years that the artist worked in her Olive Street studio in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, before re-locating to a new space in the spring of 2011.

For this exhibition, Joyce Pensato uses Batman as the predominant subject and inspiration for her paintings. “Batman” is a motif that first appeared in Pensato’s drawings as early as the mid-1970’s and has been used by the artist only periodically since, the last Batman painting, as singular work, having been executed in 1996. Pensato’s resurrection of this iconic image sixteen years later marks an additional shift in her practice as it will be the first time that she has added various colors to what until now has been a strictly black, white and silver painting palette. Pastel color has played a role in Pensato’s drawings over the years, but color in the paintings is new, and as with her drawings, the color element marks a layer within, simultaneously erased and darkened by the profuse and continual saturation of black and white enamel.

Alongside Pensato’s Batman motif will be paintings and drawings incorporating her familiar cartoon imagery of clowns, Homer Simpson, Groucho Marx, Mickey Mouse, and a character the artist refers to as “The Juicer.” Furthermore, she will present assemblages of toys, ephemera, and stuffed animals throughout the gallery and will show as well approximately fifteen to twenty photographs of striking tableaux of the aforementioned elements taken by the artist at various times of day and night in her former studio. Through these old and new mediums, Pensato continues her baleful transmutation of American cartoon culture - employing her fast, assured, and gestural hand to shed light on the arguable darkness lurking within our familiar Pop iconography. What lay beneath Batman’s mask was, perhaps only for a moment, Bruce Wayne.

Joyce Pensato lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She has exhibited widely, including in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; the St. Louis Art Museum; The Speed Museum of Art, Louisville; and The Cleveland Museum of Art. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; The Dallas Museum of Art; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the FRAC des Pays de la Loire, France, among others. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award and the Anonymous Was A Woman Award. She attended The New York Studio School.

The exhibition will be open to the public beginning Thursday, January 12th, and will remain on view through Saturday, February 25, 2012. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, January 12th, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. Friedrich Petzel Gallery is located at 537 West 22nd Street New York, NY 10011. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. For further information, please contact the gallery at (212) 680 – 9467. For press inquiries, please contact Marcella Heemsen at Marcella@petzel.com.




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  • Joyce Pensato
Fuggetabout It I
2012
Found photographs, original photographs, ephemera, stuffed animals, plastic crates, plastic figurines, plastic crates, enamel paint, stool, toy chest
Dimensions variable
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    Joyce Pensato
    Fuggetabout It I
    2012
    Found photographs, original photographs, ephemera, stuffed animals, plastic crates, plastic figurines, plastic crates, enamel paint, stool, toy chest
    Dimensions variable
  • Joyce Pensato
Fuggetabout It I
2012
Found photographs, original photographs, ephemera, stuffed animals, plastic crates, plastic figurines, plastic crates, enamel paint, stool, toy chest
Dimensions variable
    12 / 27
    Joyce Pensato
    Fuggetabout It I
    2012
    Found photographs, original photographs, ephemera, stuffed animals, plastic crates, plastic figurines, plastic crates, enamel paint, stool, toy chest
    Dimensions variable
  • Joyce Pensato
Fuggetabout It I
2012
Found photographs, original photographs, ephemera, stuffed animals, plastic crates, plastic figurines, plastic crates, enamel paint, stool, toy chest
Dimensions variable
    13 / 27
    Joyce Pensato
    Fuggetabout It I
    2012
    Found photographs, original photographs, ephemera, stuffed animals, plastic crates, plastic figurines, plastic crates, enamel paint, stool, toy chest
    Dimensions variable
  • Joyce Pensato
Fuggetabout It I
2012
Found photographs, original photographs, ephemera, stuffed animals, plastic crates, plastic figurines, plastic crates, enamel paint, stool, toy chest
Dimensions variable
    14 / 27
    Joyce Pensato
    Fuggetabout It I
    2012
    Found photographs, original photographs, ephemera, stuffed animals, plastic crates, plastic figurines, plastic crates, enamel paint, stool, toy chest
    Dimensions variable
  • Donald 2009
2009
Enamel on linen
90 x 72 inches
    15 / 27
    Donald 2009
    2009
    Enamel on linen
    90 x 72 inches
  • London Donald
2010
Enamel and metallic paint on linen
90 x 72 inches
    16 / 27
    London Donald
    2010
    Enamel and metallic paint on linen
    90 x 72 inches
  • Cartman
2010
Enamel on linen
90 x 72 inches
    17 / 27
    Cartman
    2010
    Enamel on linen
    90 x 72 inches
  • Batman I
2011
Enamel and metallic paint on linen
48 x 40 inches
121.9 x 101.6 cm
    18 / 27
    Batman I
    2011
    Enamel and metallic paint on linen
    48 x 40 inches
    121.9 x 101.6 cm
  • Batman II
2011
Enamel on linen
48 x 40 inches
    19 / 27
    Batman II
    2011
    Enamel on linen
    48 x 40 inches
  • Short Order Cook
2012
Enamel on linen
80 x 80 inches
    20 / 27
    Short Order Cook
    2012
    Enamel on linen
    80 x 80 inches
  • Punk Homer
2012
Enamel on linen
90 x 72 inches
    21 / 27
    Punk Homer
    2012
    Enamel on linen
    90 x 72 inches
  • Silver Clown
2011
Enamel and metallic paint on linen
90 x 72 inches
    22 / 27
    Silver Clown
    2011
    Enamel and metallic paint on linen
    90 x 72 inches
  • Silver Nose
2011
Enamel and metallic paint on linen
90 x 72 inches
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    Silver Nose
    2011
    Enamel and metallic paint on linen
    90 x 72 inches
  • 2012 Batman
2012
Enamel on linen
80 x 80 inches
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    2012 Batman
    2012
    Enamel on linen
    80 x 80 inches
  • Flying Mustach
2012
Enamel on linen
90 x 72 inches
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    Flying Mustach
    2012
    Enamel on linen
    90 x 72 inches
  • Gotham Batman
2011
Enamel on linen
72 x 64 inches
    26 / 27
    Gotham Batman
    2011
    Enamel on linen
    72 x 64 inches
  • Juicy Juice
2011
Enamel on linen
90 x 72 inches
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    Juicy Juice
    2011
    Enamel on linen
    90 x 72 inches
Catalogues
Joyce Pensato

Joyce Pensato

The Eraser

View Catalog

This book commemorates the 32 years Joyce worked at her Olive Street Studio in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York.

Essay by Ira G. Wool

© 2012 Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York.
© Debora Mittelstaedt pp 25 and 49; for design, Todd Amicon (38th Street Publishers); for text, Ira G. Wool

ISBN: 978-1-4675-0886-5