Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon Forgetting the Hand


Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon [UK]

Forgetting the Hand

David Zwirner London.

January 14 – February 20, 2016






The collaboration began in Summer 2015 with the artists swapping the first of a series of drawings to be completed by the other. In a variation of the “exquisite corpse” method in which a partner is only given portions of an otherwise concealed drawing to work on, Dzama and Pettibon developed each other’s compositions through illustrations, collage, and writing. Just as the surrealists invented the technique in the early twentieth century as a playful and ultimately enriching exercise, the present drawings combine the two artists’ distinct styles in a revealing and often seamless fashion. In several works, it is almost impossible to determine who made what, which indicates how both strove to assimilate the other’s vision or anticipate his response.

 After completing the drawings for the zine, the production of which was also a close collaboration, further works have been produced jointly by the artists and will be on view in the exhibition. Dzama will additionally preview a new video inspired by the endeavor, titled A Flower of Evil, which features the actress, author, and comedian Amy Sedaris as the artist himself, as well as several other characters in costumes made by Dzama.

The sold-out original zine will be reprinted by David Zwirner Books as a revised and expanded edition on the occasion of the exhibition, and will include a new text by the poet Andrew Durbin. Artist books form a significant part of both Dzama and Pettibon’s oeuvres, and Pettibon, in particular, has been making his own zines since he graduated from UCLA in the late 1970s. Forgetting the Hand represents his most extensive collaboration to date.

Marcel Dzama was born in 1974 in Winnipeg, Canada, where he received his B.F.A. in 1997 from the University of Manitoba. Since 1998, his work has been represented by David Zwirner, and he has exhibited widely both in the United States and internationally. Premiering in February 2016 is the New York City Ballet’sThe Most Incredible Thing, a performance based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale for which Dzama created the costume and stage design (choreographed by Justin Peck; music by Bryce Dessner). In 2010, a major survey of the artist’s work was presented at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Other recent solo exhibitions include the World Chess Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Louis (2015); Kunstmuseum Thun, Switzerland (2014); Galería Helga de Alvear, Madrid (2013); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain; Museo de Arte de Zapopan (MAZ), Zapopan, Mexico; World Chess Hall of Fame and Museum, St. Louis (all 2012); Gemeentemuseum, The Hague; Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany (both 2011); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2008); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, England (2006); and Le Magasin – Centre National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble, France (2005). Dzama’s work is held in museum collections worldwide, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Dallas Museum of Art; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Gallery, London; and the Vancouver Art Gallery.


Born in 1957 in Tucson, Arizona, and now based in New York, Raymond Pettibon graduated with a degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1977. Around the same time, he joined his brother in the punk band Black Flag and contributed artwork for their album covers, flyers, and t-shirts, as well as for their label, SST Records. His work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and abroad. In February 2016, the Deichtorhallen Hamburg – Sammlung Falckenberg in Hamburg will host Homo Americanus, a major museum survey, which will be accompanied by a comprehensive publication by David Zwirner Books created in close collaboration with Pettibon. The show will travel to Museum der Moderne Salzburg. Other recent venues including the Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland (2012); Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover (2007); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain (both 2006); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, California; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (both 2005). In 1998, his first American museum presentation was organized by The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and traveled to The Drawing Center, New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Pettibon’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate Gallery, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; among others.

Andrew Durbin is the author of Mature Themes (Nightboat 2014) and the chapbook MacArthur Park (Kenning Editions 2015). His work has appeared in BOMB Magazine, Boston Review, Flash Art, Poetry London, Texte Zur Kunst, and elsewhere. A contributing editor of Mousse, he co-edits the press Wonder and lives in New York. His first novel, Blonde Summer, is forthcoming from Nightboat in 2017.

Images courtesy of the Gallery and Artist

View Gallery on map

Related Posts