Nineteen sixty-two proved to be a significant year for Richard Pettibone. It was the year of his MFA graduation from Otis Art Institute and Andy Warhol’s first show at the Ferus Gallery. The following year was another significant marker for Pettibone—it was Marcel Duchamp’s first retrospective in Pasadena, California. Alongside Pettibone, artists such as Ed Ruscha, Wallace Berman, John Baldessari, Bruce Conner, and George Herms were working toward a more conceptual base.
In 2005, the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, in association with Laguna Art Museum, presented a retrospective of his work. Curated by Ian Berry and Michael Duncan, the exhibition showcased over two hundred works and included Pettibone’s sculptural works that he began making in the 1990s, works that were inspired by Constantin Brancusi, Piet Mondrian, and Shaker furniture. “Brancusi seemed to be doing in sculpture what the Shakers had been doing in furniture, namely, trying to achieve a form that was an essence.”
In her review of the retrospective exhibition, Nancy Princenthal of Art in America wrote, “An intimist and an extremely accomplished practitioner in several mediums, Pettibone possesses a sensibility that evokes John Ruskin as much as Walter Benjamin, and having begun by rehabilitating the handmade in the age of industrial production, he is more or less unconcerned with technologies that have been developed since.”
|Andy Warhol, “Campbell’s Soup Can”
Acrylic on canvas, 1962, 1967
6 3/4 x 5 inches
Gift of Diana Zlotnick, Los Angeles, California