1941 - 2019 · United States
Breaking down the mystical magic of beloved cartoon characters, American artist Joyce Pensato made it her mission to refigure these icons into new modes of visual representation.
Working on an enlarged scale and embracing the loosened, free brushstrokes of later twentieth-century abstraction, Pensato channeled characters such as Mickey Mouse or Felix the Cat when creating new forms that borrowed the exuberant design of many street artists’ creations. With the size of her work only increasing over the course of her career, Pensato’s works draw attention to the ongoing debate between artifice and reality using a visual language to which everyone can relate.
Born in Brooklyn in 1941 and based there for the majority of her career, Pensato first achieved international notoriety years ago but maintained acclaim through the final days of her life in 2019. Her work has been showcased in numerous solo exhibitions. Several notable recent events include those at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA, USA (2013); the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg, Denmark (2016); and the Petzel Gallery in New York (2017). Her work is also part of several major museum collections, including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Dallas Museum of Art; and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.