Joyce Pensato paints exuberant, explosive large-scale likenesses of cartoon characters and comic-book heroes. Her seemingly frenzied technique – actually involving the deliberate accretion of successive layers of bold linear gestures, rapid spattering and frequent erasures – results in alternately humorous and sinister imagery.While her prima facie subject matter ranges from Batman,The Simpsons and Mickey Mouse to Felix the Cat and Donald Duck, her artistic progenitors include Alberto Giacometti,AndyWarhol,Jean-Michel Basquiat and Abstract Expressionists such as Willem de Kooning and Philip Guston.
Pensato works almost exclusively with shop-bought black and white enamel, while employing charcoal and pastel for smaller-scale drawings. Recently she has returned to painting oversized murals, while there are also occasional leaps away from the monochrome world she generally inhabits into sporadic bursts of colour, especially silver and gold. Her first major exhibition in London is scheduled for 26 March–10 May and Joyce Pensato is also represented by Petzel Gallery, NewYork; Galerie Anne de Villepoix in Paris and Corbett vs. Dempsey in Chicago.
Joyce Pensato was born in Brooklyn, New York, where she lives and works. Her touring solo show, I Killed Kenny, first shown at the Santa Monica Museum of Art (2013) is now travelling to the Contemporary Art Museum of St Louis (24 January-13 April 2014). Pensato’s work is
in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NewYork; SFMoMA, San Francisco; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and the FRAC des Pays de la Loire. She has won numerous awards including the Robert de Niro, Sr. Prize (2013); the Award of Merit Medal for Painting, given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2012) and the Guggenheim Fellowship (1996).
Joyce Pensato’s first major exhibition in London will be at Lisson Gallery from 26 March – 10 May 2014. Pensato is available for interview and will be working on site at the gallery for two weeks prior to her show opening.