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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

A Conversation with Lari Pittman

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Lehmann Maupin / Online / Art

This conversation between the painter Lari Pittman—known for cacophonous mashups of imagery past and present, ugly, blithe, and beautiful—and curator Laura Hoptman took place on March 6, 2020. Here’s a teaser. Hoptman asks: “Does your ideal viewer read your paintings as well as look at them?” Pittman answers: “I would say we’ve forgotten how to look at and that we have fetishized looking for something too much. And I think actually the obsession for looking for something in work is actually deeply conservative, because it might imply that you’re searching for a short cut, or that, even worse, there’s an implied ETA of meaning in the work, an estimated time of arrival of meaning in the work. So that the viewer then feels confirmed, ‘Oh’—which is the death knell of all work—‘I get it.’” Paintings from Pittman’s current exhibition, “Found Buried,” are viewable on the site. —L.J.

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