Tag Archives: Pop Art

Just in: Four Richard Pettibone Paintings

Richard Pettibone is an inventive artist who helped establish the conceptual art movement known as “Appropriation”.

While creating Pop-style sculptures with his skills as a miniature enthusiast, Pettibone took on the idea of creating small paintings and sculptures based on the images he saw in art publications such as Art in America.

Artists like Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Johns were already using celebrity photos, comic book illustrations, and the American flag respectively to co-opt or appropriate popular iconography, thus making a statement about what could be used as fine art. Pettibone’s simple appropriation of the other artists’ images was re-enforcing this concept by acknowledging that the paintings themselves had entered pop culture status. (If a soup can was Pop art, a painting of a soup can was Pop art, then a painting of a painting of a soup can was Pop art etc.)

The fact that Pettibone made each small painting exactly the size it was reproduced in the art magazines (sometimes as small as an inch) was a somewhat Duchampian statement of not copying a painting, but copying an image of a painting.

Lot Information:

Richard Pettibone
Roy Lichtenstein. Tex. 1962.
Oil on canvas
Pencil marked verso “#29”
4.5″ x 4.5″
Estimate $40,000 – $60,000
To be offered in May 6, 2012 Modern Art & Design Auction 

Richard Pettibone
Andy Warhol, Flowers, 1971
Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas with artist frame
Signed and dated on the frame verso “R. Pettibone ’71”
1.75″ x 1.75″ 
Estimate $7,000 – $9,000
To be offered in May 6, 2012 Modern Art & Design Auction  

Richard Pettibone
Roy Lichtenstein. Golf Ball. 1962.
Oil on canvas
11 3/8″ x 10 3/8″ 
Estimate $35,000 – $45,000
To be offered in May 6, 2012 Modern Art & Design Auction  

Richard Pettibone
Oil on canvas
Signed verso “Richard Pettibone 1966”
6 1/8″ x  7 1/8″ 
Estimate $10,000 – $12,000
To be offered in May 6, 2012 Modern Art & Design Auction  

The Queen of Detroit

Michigan-based artist and atypical punk, Niagara, crafted her own brand of Pop Art in the early 90s. Narratives of classic buxom beauties wielding pistols and bossing around gangsters, Niagara’s early paintings of unequivocally tenacious women – some earning her upwards of $15,000 – propelled her to international fame.

It took a while, however, for Niagara to achieve this fame. After dropping out of University of Michigan’s art school in 1973, she found herself trudging to college parties with artist Mike Kelley playing impromptu noise-rock shows in the band Destroy All Monsters. Equal parts punk rock show, art performance, and experimental noise excursion, their first gigs were played using hot-wired toys, defective electronics, saxophones, and tape loops. By the late 70s, the artsy-punk band included Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton and MC5 bassist Michael Davis. As the lead singer, Niagara embodied the edgy femme fatale she would later depict in her paintings.

Created in 2002, these handbag art pieces, entitled “In Case of Emergency”, “Hot Box”, and “Havoc”, utilize techniques and themes she’s experienced in her early music and art. Materials such as bullets and a syringe evoke the same ingenuity and punk excess that raised Destroy All Monsters to anti-rock cult status. One can only imagine a pistol encased in these glaring metal purses. And yet, each bag glimmers with the sheen of Pop.

– Paul DesMarais, Contributing Writer

Lot Information:

“In Case of Emergency”, “Hot Box” and “Havoc”
Circa 2002
From the Punk series No. 13, 12 and 10
Each signed
$1,000-1,500 for the group of three
To be offered in the June 26, 2011 Modern Art & Design Auction 

Callwood, Brett. “She Comes in Colors.” Metrotimes.com. Detroit Metro Times, 9 Dec. 2009. Web. 10 May 2011.

Hill, Christina. “Falling for Niagara.” Metrotimes.com. Detroit Metro Times, 23 Nov. 2005. Web. 10 May 2011.

Niagara Bio. Niagara, 2011. Web. 10 May 2011.