Fuggetabout it (Redux) & Batman vs. Spiderman
"I've always wanted to make art that trashed up a good white-cube gallery," the Joyce Pensato told the New York Times in 2016.
Her work in "Batman vs. Spiderman" at Petzel Upper East Side location, which includes fifteen charcoal drawings-on-paper from the 1970s and enamels from the 2000s—many of which are exhibited publicaly for the first time here—embody one means through which the late artist accomplished just that. As the show's title suggests, the series favors Spiderman and Batman as subjects.
But it is not only Pensato's manic and eerie depictions of lucrative characters from American pop culture which touch upon the dark underbelly of capitalism. It was a landlord-tenant dispute and her subsequent expulsion from her longtime East Williamsburg studio in 2011 that led to the first iteration of "Fuggetabout it (Redux)," the second staging of which is now on view at Petzel's Chelsea space. An installation of the contents of her emptied studio, Untitled (at various times, "Joyceland," "Fuggettabout It!") (2012-2021) counts among its contents numerous paint cans and brushes, milk crates, an Elmo, Mickey Mouses, Simpsons characters, and beyond—all coated with a thick layer of Pensato's signature paint splatter.
Joyce Pensato, SmackDown! Lisa, 2018. Charcoal and pastel on paper, 90 x 90 1/4 inches. Courtesy the Joyce Pensato Estate and Petzel, New York.