May 20, 2021
American artist and influential teacher Lari Pittman discusses his paintings and his reflections on the Los Angeles art world in this conversation with art historian David J. Getsy. Pittman and Getsy discuss the struggles to address issues of sexuality, gender, and the decorative in the 1970s. They also explore the artistic and political legacies of this moment and Pittman’s ongoing investigation into these issues in his career as an artist.
Pittman is Emeritus Distinguished Professor, Painting and Drawing, at UCLA. Born 1952 in Glendale, California, to an American father and a Colombian mother, he spent part of his childhood in Colombia, before returning to California in 1963. Studying with Elizabeth Murray, Vija Celmins, and Miriam Schapiro at Cal Arts, Pittman emerged as an artist in the 1970s through an engagement with the history-making feminist art movement that developed in Southern California, and through his own work as an openly gay painter who drew inspiration from feminism’s critique of modernism and its exclusions.
Getsy is Goldabelle McComb Finn Distinguished Professor of Art History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and he is the 2020–21 Terra Foundation Visiting Professor of American Art at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin.
This conversation is organized by the Terra Foundation for American Art.