I honestly find it hard to imagine what made Lisson Gallery show the works of Joyce Pensato. Her paintings are non sensical ‘exuberant and explosive likenesses of cartoon characters and comic-book heroes’. In this show, she shows new paintings featuring Batman, Donald Duck and various characters from The Simpsons. Included among them is a darkened visage of Homer Simpson crossed with Groucho Marx as well as Marge from Hell, Pensato’s giant pastel and charcoal drawing.
Although the press release tells us that ‘the artist has been present for the month prior to opening, painting a large-scale mural on to the gallery’s back wall, a practice she has recently returned to for her major museum presentations in Europe and America’, upon arrival the experience is so disappointing that the viewer cannot avoid asking himself or herself whether she actually did some work during that month.
In other words, this show is a moronic gestural representation of iterative lack of skill. To make things even worse, Pensato decided to transport the majority of ‘her Brooklyn studio (which she refers to as ‘Joyceland’) to London, bringing her stuffed animals, talking toys, plastic action figures and collaged ephemera of postcards, found adverts and posters that she refers to and draws inspiration from for her paintings. Her working environment, documented for the first time in a number of new photographs by the artist, will be recreated as installations in the gallery, down to the paint pots, brushes, books and discarded scraps of newspaper that are similarly covered in the spatters, splashes and drips that result from her obsessive painterly method’.
This ready made/ installation aims at monumentalising her ‘pratice’ which is obviously solipsistic and pointless. Why would anyone be interested in seeing what her studio looks like? Who the hell does she think she is? To summarise it, this is another example of Lisson indexical full of shit-ness. Just a thought.