Raymond Pettibon. The Cloud of Misreading


From 7 June 2017 to 13 August 2017


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Following its tradition of introducing internationally renowned artists to a local audience, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art presents the first solo exhibition of Raymond Pettibon in Russia.

A major part of the Garage summer exhibition season, the show—curated by Massimiliano Gioni and Gary Carrion-Murayari from the New Museum in New York—brings together around four hundred works, including ephemera and materials from the personal archive of a figure who has been key to the American art scene since the 1990s.

Pettibon first received attention for his work when it was used in fliers, zines, and record covers in the burgeoning Los Angeles punk scene of the 1980s. His work became identified with a brash and iconoclastic visual style that would influence and speak to generations of disaffected youth. In spite of this impact, Pettibon’s link to the punk scene has obscured the scope of his thematic and stylistic vision and the important place he occupies in the history of contemporary art. He stands alongside a generation of Los Angeles artists who have tackled the dissolution of American idealism head-on, using fragments of its own visual culture.

This presentation demonstrates the gradual evolution of the use of language in Pettibon’s work from the strident captions of his early drawings to the poetic, self-reflexive tone he has adopted in the past two decades. Beginning in the 1990s, Pettibon began borrowing and adapting bits of text from his favorite authors—Henry James, John Ruskin, and Marcel Proust—who haunted his work and transformed his images with surprising and enigmatic juxtapositions. In addition to hundreds of drawings from throughout his career, this exhibition features never-before-exhibited fragments of text from Pettibon’s constantly growing collection of source material, offering rare insight into his artistic process and singular mind.

The Cloud of Misreading show brings together around four hundred works, including ephemera and materials from the personal archive of the artist. Most of them are drawings with fragments of text. Garage has published a booklet specially for the Raymond Pettibon show with translations of the texts that constitute the essential part of the artist’s works. Poet, translator, and musician Kirill Medvedev has become the Russian voice of Raymond Pettibon. You can find the printed version at the exhibition space and download the electronic version below.



The Cloud of Misreading has been organized by the New Museum, New York, in collaboration with Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow.
Curated by Massimiliano Gioni and Gary Carrion-Murayari. The project at Garage is organized with Garage curator Katya Inozemtseva.

Raymond Pettibon. The Cloud of Misreading


Here we’ve put together materials to help you get ready for a visit to the Museum or to take a deep dive into the current programs at Garage.

Public program
The program explores the contemporary critique of American reality and its ideology, as well as various phenomena of American culture: from the emergence of surf and skateboard subcultures to punk literature and comics. Events include a discussion on the early years of the punk musical scene that formed in California in the 1980s and a lecture by its witness and participant Aaron Cometbus with Russian Sign Language interpretation.

In two seminars, Vladimir Kozlov will discuss books by punk musicians of the past and present day—and authors whose ideas and style resonate with punk ideas and aesthetics.

A one-day festival Board Culture Day will celebrate surf and skateboard cultures. The program of the day includes a lecture on the origins of skateboarding and surfing, a surf yoga class for children, skateboarding and balance board practice, as well as a board painting workshop and a film screening.

Children are invited to make a comic about a superhero’s day, design t-shirts and learn to work with text and image at workshops for the youngest visitors.

Raymond Pettibon’s films Sir Drone and The Whole World is Watching: Weatherman '69 about the paradoxes of American punk will be screened at Garage Auditorium throughout the exhibition, while the open-air cinema on Garage Square will show a Russian premiere of Turn It Around: The Story of East Bay Punk by Corbett Redford, exploring the 30-year evolution of punk rock in California.

Inclusive program for the exhibition features a lecture on the role of sign languages in the US and Russian deaf cultures and the strategies of their development. Blind, sighted and partially sighted visitors are invited to take part in debate club meetings devoted to the exhibition.


Seminars. Punk Literature: Write It Yourself

Vladimir Kozlov looks at books by living and deceased punk musicians and authors whose ideas and style reflected the ideology and aesthetics of punk culture. 


June 21 and July 4
Garage Education Center

Board Culture Day

The one-day festival celebrates board culture and the artistic, musical, and photographic experiments it has inspired. Events include a lecture on the origins of skateboard and surf cultures, a surf yoga class, skateboarding and balance board classes, as well as workshops and screening.

Sunday, July 2
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art