The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Presents
FOCUS: Joyce Pensato
November 21, 2015-January 31, 2016
The FOCUS series is organized by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth for the Director's Council, a group that supports acquisitions at the Museum. The series features three solo exhibitions annually, organized by Assistant Curator Alison Hearst. FOCUS exhibitions are open to the public and are included in general museum admission: $10 for adults; $4 for seniors (60+) and students with identification; free for children 12 and under; free for Modern members.
Since the mid-1970s, Joyce Pensato has utilized some of the most iconic American cartoons and comic book characters, such as Mickey Mouse, Felix the Cat, Donald Duck, the Simpsons, and Kyle and Stan from South Park, as starting points for her drawings and paintings. Pensato transforms these characters into portraits that vacillate between menacing and amusing, fretful and enthusiastic. Recognizing the emblematic power of cartoons and their ability to critique aspects of contemporary culture, Pensato freezes and modifies these familiar faces, isolating them to further comment on American society and its anxieties.
Pensato primarily works in an industrial palette of black, white, and silver enamel, which gives her works a gritty, dynamic street aesthetic. Her paintings are built up with viscous drips of enamel that merge figuration with the painterly cues of Abstract Expressionism. Pensato's stark colors, economy of form, and distortion still leave her prototypes recognizable, though their features are often hollow and masklike. Her versions of these characters are pushed to the point of being tragicomic clowns, analyzing American notions of physical beauty and the dark underbelly of American culture. For her FOCUS exhibition, Pensato will present several photocollages and new paintings, including her largest painting on linen to date.
Joyce Pensato was born in Brooklyn, New York, and attended the New York Studio School. She continues to live and work in Brooklyn. Pensato has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally, including her 2013 solo exhibition at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, California, which traveled to the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Missouri. Her work has been featured in many group exhibitions at such venues as the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky; Uferhallen, Berlin; Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Pensato's work is in the collections of many institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
The Director's Council
The Director's Council was formed in 1985 and supports the Modern with an annual acquisition for the permanent collection. The Director's Council sponsors the FOCUS series, which presents three solo exhibitions organized each year. Each exhibition opens with an exclusive cocktail reception for the Council, giving the members an opportunity to meet the featured artist and discuss his or her work. One piece by each artist is chosen by the Museum director and curator to be part of the final selection voted on at the Council's Purchase Meeting each May. This format provides members with an in-depth understanding of the Modern's acquisitions process and offers a spirited and popular series of events. The annual dues, $600, include all the benefits of a Family membership and invitations to exclusive Director's Council events.
3200 Darnell Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
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