Medium
Signature
Signed and dated 1985 on front and verso.

As a young painter, Richard Pettibone began replicating on a miniature scale works by newly famous artists, and later also modernist masters, signing the original artist’s name as well as his own. His versions of Andy Warhol’s soup cans, Jasper Johns’ flags, Frank Stella’s black paintings, and countless more works by Roy Lichtenstein, Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian, and Constantin Brancusi—all pocket-sized to evoke the intimacy of the model trains he loved as a child—incited considerable controversy. Pettibone is often seen has having paved the way for 1980s appropriation art, raising questions about the ownership of ideas and the nature of originality that are still debated today. Writing in The New York Times, Roberta Smith notes that something besides imitation prevails in his work: “formal rigor, the personalizing effects of scale and touch, faith in materials as carriers of artistic meaning and, above all, hard-nosed, even hypercritical reverence.”

High auction record
US$688.0k, Christie's, 2006
Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), The FLAG Art Foundation
Selected exhibitions
2018
Richard Pettibone: Recent WorksCastelli Gallery
Richard Pettibone: Endless VariationThe FLAG Art Foundation
Richard Pettibone: Endless VariationThe FLAG Art Foundation
View all

I Wish I Could Do Something Quick and Spontaneous, 1985

Oil on canvas
10 × 10 in
25.4 × 25.4 cm
.
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Medium
Signature
Signed and dated 1985 on front and verso.

As a young painter, Richard Pettibone began replicating on a miniature scale works by newly famous artists, and later also modernist masters, signing the original artist’s name as well as his own. His versions of Andy Warhol’s soup cans, Jasper Johns’ flags, Frank Stella’s black paintings, and countless more works by Roy Lichtenstein, Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian, and Constantin Brancusi—all pocket-sized to evoke the intimacy of the model trains he loved as a child—incited considerable controversy. Pettibone is often seen has having paved the way for 1980s appropriation art, raising questions about the ownership of ideas and the nature of originality that are still debated today. Writing in The New York Times, Roberta Smith notes that something besides imitation prevails in his work: “formal rigor, the personalizing effects of scale and touch, faith in materials as carriers of artistic meaning and, above all, hard-nosed, even hypercritical reverence.”

High auction record
US$688.0k, Christie's, 2006
Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), The FLAG Art Foundation
Selected exhibitions (3)
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