Monday, March 15, 2010

Panter Era Begins Now

Pasadena City College is renowned for its lengthy tenure as one of the best community colleges in California, spawning ground for Dennis Cooper and Van Halen (as well as artists Betye Saar and Liz McGrath) and home to the mother of all swap meets. It also boasts a remarkably strong art department, whose faculty includes L.A. Weekly Annual Biennial "Some Paintings" alumni Robin Mitchell, Lynne Berman and Rebecca Morris, short-listers Brian Fahlstrom and Nick Taggert, 2009 COLA awardee David Dimichele, and Brian Tucker, PCC gallery director and curator of last fall's exhibit "Mantong and Protong," by dueling crackpots Richard Shaver and Stanislaw Szukalski.

Tucker's gallery is also the flash point for PCC's highly regarded but little-known Artist in Residence program — an annual weeklong intensive on-campus orgy of art-making, master classes and public lectures now in its 24th year. Previous honored guests include William Wegman, Faith Ringgold, Wayne Thiebaud, Alexis Smith and many other illustrious names from the pantheon of West Coast blue-chip cultural production.

This year's model has a slightly more complex pedigree, encompassing not only gallery and museum exhibitions, but award-winning TV set designs, genre-redefining comic books, commercial illustration (including album covers for Frank Zappa, Ralph Records, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bongwater and Silver Daggers), the revival of psychedelic light shows, and a decades-long trail of lo-fi, weird-ass experimental rock music including collaborations with Bay Area cult proto–post-punkers the Residents.

Whom could I be referring to but Gary Brad Panter, thrice Emmy-encrusted acid-punk Southern gentleman with perhaps the most restlessly inventive graphic line since Paul Klee. Panter was conspicuously absent from the recent Pee-wee Herman reunion tour ("I didn't end up working on the Pee-wee stage show. I wish Paul great success with the show. I've seen photos and the set will be close enough to make fans happy"), but conspicuously conspicuous as a recent featured speaker at the Hammer Museum in conjunction with Crumb's Book of Genesis show, where — in addition to his personal take on the history of 20th-century art — he doled out the best "advice to young artists" I've ever heard: "Smoke pot. Make art. Live long. Make friends. Eat some Mexican food. Listen to Dick El Demasiado's record. Then you'll be OK."

Read the rest of Residents Artist in Residence: Gary Panter Can't Stay Away from LA here

TONIGHT Monday March 15th 7 PM!!!

Public lecture by 2010 PCC Artist in Residence Gary Panter at the Pasadena City College Vosloh Forum

followed by
Reception for the artist: Monday, March 15, 8:30 – 9:30 PM at the Pasadena City College Art Gallery

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