Joyce Pensato

Make My Day

May 4 - June 17, 2017

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 4th, 6–8pm

35 E 67th Street

Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce Make My Day, a solo exhibition by Joyce Pensato of six “eyes” paintings from the year 2000 and 2001 that the artist made in Paris. This is her fifth solo show with the gallery and her first at its Upper East Side location.

Over the course of her career, Pensato has returned time and again to the motif of eyes as a way to step back from the literalness of the full cartoon character face and refocus on expressive abstraction inherent in the circularity of a character’s eyes. Although sometimes the origin of the eye motif can be known through its title, such as “Felix” or “Donald,” it is the disembodiment of the eyes from the face that interests the artist, as it frees up the picture plane allowing for either singular or multiple interpretations on one panel. In the multiple iterations, as seen in this body of work, instead of one character, many are revealed, sometimes looking left or right, up or down, or even seemingly from one set to another. The eyes are often repeated in such way as to invoke a kind of stop animation, further emphasizing the artist’s interest in seriality and repetition. All six paintings were made in Paris based on a toy the artist picked up at a local shop.

Joyce Pensato was born in Brooklyn, New York, where she continues to live and work. Her works are on view currently at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, and both institutions have premiered her new vinyl wall works of collages in her studio. She has had numerous solo exhibitions, including at the Santa Monica Museum of Art (Santa Monica, CA, 2013), which traveled to the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (St. Louis, MO, 2014), and at The Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth, TX. Her works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the The Speed Museum, Louisville, KY; and the Sheldon Museum, Lincoln, NE. She has won numerous awards, including the Robert de Niro, Sr. Prize (2013); the Award of Merit Medal for Paintings from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2012); and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award (1997). She was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1997.


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  • 13 / 22
    Ape Man
    1997
    Enamel paint on linen
    40.2 x 32.3 inches
  • 14 / 22
    Rolling Eyes
    2001
    Enamel on canvas
    78.75 x 63 inches
  • 15 / 22
    Untitled (Bart Simpson)
    1994
    Enamel on paper
    41.2 x 29.1 inches
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    Untitled (Bart Simpson)
    1994
    Enamel on paper
    41.25 x 29.1 inches
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    Untitled (Bart Simpson)
    1994
    Enamel on paper
    41.1 x 29.1 inches
  • 18 / 22
    L'Area Donald eyes!!
    2000
    Enamel on canvas
    76.4 x 59 inches
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    Blood Shot Eyes
    2000
    Enamel on canvas
    78.75 x 63 inches
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    L'Area Donald eyes!
    2000
    Enamel on canvas
    76.75 x 51.2 inches
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    The Last Eyes
    2000
    Enamel on canvas
    76.75 x 51.2 inches
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    Cross Eyes
    2000
    Enamel on canvas
    78.75 x 63 inches
Related Materials

Joyce Pensato

I Killed Kenny

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This catalogue is published on the occasion of the exhibition Joyce Pensato: I Killed Kenny, at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, June 1 - October 5, 2013, and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
January 24 - April 13, 2014

The publication contains the following texts:
Foreword by Elsa Longhauser
"Killing Kenny" by Jeffrey Uslip
"Joyce Pensato's Rescue Operation" by John Yau
"Follow That Nose, an interview with Joyce Pensato" by Ali Subotnick

Published by the Santa Monica Museum of Art, California

© 2014 SMMoA and Joyce Pensato

ISBN 978-0-9839672-2-4






Joyce Pensato

The Eraser

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

The publication contains the essay:
"How I Met Joyce Pensato and Lived Happily with Her Art Ever After" by Ira G. Wool

Published by Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York

© 2012 Friedrich Petzel Gallery and Joyce Pensato

ISBN: 978-1-4675-0886-5






Joyce Pensato

You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do

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This catalog was produced on the occasion of the exhibition Joyce Pensato: You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do at Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago, October 26 - November 24, 2012

Published by Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago

© 2012 Corbett vs. Dempsey

ISBN: 978-0-9837258-9-3