September 2016 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Mood Books

Over the weekend, the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, opened Lari Pittman: Mood Books. The exhibition features six massive illustrated books--opening to more than four feet in width--that contain 65 "hallucinogenic" paintings by the Los Angeles-based artist. Since his first solo exhibition in 1982, Pittman has become a well-known figure in the contemporary art world. His paintings draw inspiration from a variety of sources, including folk art and commercial advertising, and they often navigate heady themes (love, sex, rebellion) with vivid, illuminating color.

pittman_12-verified_500.jpgAs art critic David Pagel wrote in BOMB magazine in 1991, "Lari Pittman's paintings indulge a sensualist's love for the visceral. Rendered with a fanatic's precision, his Victorian silhouettes: imaginary organic forms, runawayarrows, and arabesques, transform ornamentation into a contemporary narrative of life and death, love and sex."

The exhibit is up through February 20, 2017.

Image: Lari Pittman, from 12 Verified Occurrences During a Full Moon, 2015, acrylic and lacquer spray over gessoed, heavy-weight paper board, 27 ? 25 ? 4.5 inches. © Lari Pittman, courtesy of the artist and Regen projects, Los Angeles.