Luxembourg & Dayan will present a selection of Pruitt’s Panda Paintings—a body of work that has become one of the pillars of his artistic identity—at PAD London this year. First shown in 2000, Pruitt chose the Panda as his alter ego—perhaps the ultimate endangered species, these animals are universally adored. Due to their mythological qualities and their timely symbolism in our age of ecological precarity, Pruitt has made numerous works that pay tribute to the Panda’s embodiment of our current age. Pruitt’s new Panda Paintings are really humans disguised in Panda costumes and reveal a transition away from nature and towards the personification of these animals. These Pandas have stepped onto the stage as comedians and performers in the development of this narrative. These paintings will be displayed on a uniquely designed stand, papered in specially commissioned Chinoiserie wallpaper handmade by the storied de Gournay company and surrounded by art works and artifacts from various historical periods of Chinese history. Historically significant lacquered furniture, archeological objects and Ming period vases will not only create an opulent visual environment, but will contextualize Pruitt’s ongoing passion for the Panda and its relationship to Chinese cultural identity.
About Rob Pruitt
Rob Pruitt was born in 1964 in Washington D.C., and has been exhibiting his work for over 25 years. Pruitt has been included in numerous exhibitions internationally including: “Pop Life”, Tate Modern (2010); “Mapping the Studio”, Palazzo Grassi (2009); “The Gold Standard”, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2006); “Seeing Double”, Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (2005); “Following and to Be Followed”, Consortium, Dijon, France (2003); “Shanghai Biennale 2002”, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2002); “Vantage Point”, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2001); “Protest and Survive”, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK (2000); as well as the seminal exhibition, “Post Human”, curated by Jeffrey Deitch, Castello di Rivoli, Museo d' Arte, Contemporanea, Rivoli, Italy (1992). In 2009, in association with White Columns, Rob Pruitt conceived and presented his performance-based artwork “The First Annual Art Awards” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. The second annual art awards took place at Webster Hall in December 2010.
In March 2010, ABRAMS published Pruitt's first comprehensive monograph, Pop Touched Me. A testament to Pruitt's perseverance, versatility and talent, the book surveys almost 25 years of the artist's work and reflects his influence upon a generation of younger artists.
Pruitt's work fearlessly experiments with popular culture and tells a story using iconic and accessible imagery from the world we live in. Yet, his art is never as self-evident as the glitter of the pandas may lead you to believe on first impression, and only upon further consideration does it reveal the unexpectedly brilliant concepts that inform it.