Lari Pittman

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Lari Pittman
ResidenceLos Angeles, United States, Mexico
Alma materCal Arts, UCLA
Notable work
Like You (1995), Fly Carpet with Magic Mirrors for a Distorted Nation (2013)
Spouse(s)Roy Dowell

Lari Pittman (born 1952 in Los Angeles, California)[1] is an American painter. His American father met his Colombian mother while the former was working abroad in the latter's homeland.[2]

Lari Pittman is a Distinguished Professor at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture.


Pittman received his MFA from Cal Arts in 1976. There he met his life partner, abstract painter Roy Dowell with whom he has lived ever since,[3] he is now a professor at UCLA (an institution which he once attended, but, from which he did not earn a degree). In 1996 his work was the subject of a mid career survey at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.[2]

In David Pagel's interview with Pittman, he concludes that Pittman's paintings include "imaginary organic forms, runaway arrows, and arabesques, transform ornamentation into a contemporary narrative of life and death, love and sex." He also believes "Pittman's operatic pictures propose that the world's complexity does not override passion, sincerity, and individuality."[4] When talking about his own work, Pittman states: "at times, I purposefully orchestrate the work so that you do have that comfortable laughter when looking at it—it's fullhearted and enjoyable internally—but it's also a laughter linked to nervousness, and that's the laughter I particularly like cultivating, parlor laughter, where there's always the subtext of conversation going on, but everyone is very agreeable." [4]

Pittman is included in several distinguished art collections including the Eli and Edythe Broad collection at The Broad in Los Angeles, United States.[5]

Awards and Honors[edit]

Board Memberships:

  • 2015 – 2018: MOCA, Los Angeles, Artist on the Board of Trustees
  • 2008 – present: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Board of Overseers


  • 2013 International Association of Art Critics United States Exhibition Award Winner
  • 2012 International Association of Art Critics Award
  • 2011 Hammer Museum Gala in the Garden Honoree
  • 2006 Rhode Island School of Design Honorary Doctorate
  • 2004 Pacific Design Center Stars of Design 2004 Award for Art
  • 2002 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Skowhegan Medal
  • 1999/2000 Flintridge Foundation Award for Visual Artists
  • 1993 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant in Painting
  • 1990 California Arts Council Arts Fellowship Grant in Painting
  • 1989 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant in Painting
  • 1989 J. Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts Fellowship Grant in Painting
  • 1987 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant in Painting
  • 1986 Art Matters, Inc. Grant

Public Collections[edit]


  1. ^ "Lari Pittman - Biography, vital info and auction records for Lari Pittman". Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  2. ^ a b "Lari Pittman | Art21". PBS. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  3. ^ Spurrier, Jeff. "A Waterwise Cactus Garden". Garden Design Magazine. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Pagel, David. "Lari Pittman", BOMB Magazine Winter, 1991. Retrieved on June 3, 2013.
  5. ^