Gary Panter

United States 1950


Gary Panter
Gary Panter
United States
July 14, 2014
Nina Karaicic is a journalist with experience in TV and radio media. Born in 1989, she had studied at the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Political Sciences (Journalism). Interests: Photography, Art, Film, Folklore, Video Games

Gary Panter is an illustrator, painter, designer and part-time musician. His comics are fast and hard and drawn in an expressionistic manner. His works balance the worlds of painting, commercial art, illustration, cartoons, alternative comics, and music. Influenced by Frank Zappa’s art director Cal Schenkel, Panter undertakes all of his projects with imaginative punk flair.

He was born 1950 in Oklahoma and raised in Texas. He studied painting at the East Texas State University and moved to Los Angeles in 1977. In L.A. he worked on multiple fronts, including painting, design, comics, and commercial imagery, establishing a pattern of creating across traditional boundaries, and in multiple media, that endures to this day. Today he teaches at School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

In the late 1970s he exhibited his first major suite of paintings and drew posters and fliers for the likes of The Germs and The Screamers. He also began a long association with the various incarnations of Pee-wee Herman, as well as creating the early adventures of his punk/nuclear/hillbilly alter ego, Jimbo. In 1980 Gary published “The Rozz-Tox Manifesto”, a highly influential document that directed his generation to infiltrate the mainstream with underground ideas and culture.

As an illustrator, Panter was one of the first to stop worrying about graphic perfection, preferring instead to push the underground punk attitude he had nurtured since the ’70s into his commercial art for established magazines such as Time, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and The New Yorker. By deliberately presenting his work with serrated edges instead of clean lines, Panter’s style came as a breath of fresh air to both publishers and audience alike. His fame as an illustrator grew when he was commissioned by Warner Brothers to produce a set of album sleeves for Frank Zappa. The resulting covers for Studio Tan, Sleep Dirt and Orchestral Favorites were universally admired as was his cover illustration for the debut album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Gary’s paintings occupy a large portion of a very prolific 1980s, during which he also designed the sets and puppets for Pee-wee’s Playhouse, and maintained an active comics output through his own mini-comics and his contributions to Raw magazine and other anthologies.

Returning to comics in the early 1990s, Gary drew seven issues of a Jimbo comic book. He then began delving into light shows, staging elaborate psychedelic performances in his studio space. More recently, he has collaborated with Joshua White, and the duo has mounted lightshows at the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. and at New York’s Anthology Film Archives.

In 2006-2007, Gary was a featured artist in the touring exhibition, Masters of American Comics. His paintings and drawings have recently been exhibited at Dunn and Brown, Dallas and Clementine Gallery, New York. In 2008, Gary was the subject of a one-man show at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.

His books include a comprehensive monograph, Gary Panter (PictureBox), and four graphic novels: Jimbo in Purgatory (Fantagraphics); Jimbo’s Inferno (Fantagraphics); Cola Madnes (Funny Garbage); Jimbo: Adventures in Paradise (Pantheon). Gary has won numerous awards, including three Emmy Awards for his production design on Pee-wee’s Playhouse, as well as the 2000 Chrysler Award for Design Excellence.

Gary Panter lives and works in Brooklyn.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2014Binding Desire: Unfolding Artists BooksBen Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013Gary Panter, The Magnetic Lady  Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2013UnhingedPierogi Brooklyn, New York City, NYGroup
2013UnhingedPierogi Leipzig, LeipzigGroup
2012Someday All the Adults Will Die! Punk Graphics 1971-1984Hayward Gallery, LondonGroup
2012Panegyric  -  FordeEspace d'art contemporain, GenevaGroup
2012Joshua White and Gary Panter’s Light ShowMuseum of Contemporay Art Detroit, Detroit, MIGroup
2012Under The Influence: The ComicsLehman College Art Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2011Gary Panter .- Paintings 1986-PresentFredericks & Freiser Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2011Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2011GumptionZieherSmith, New York City, NYGroup
2010Gary PanterPasadena City College Art Gallery, Pasadena, CASolo
2010Mutant PopLoyal, MalmöGroup
2010Living the DreamFuse Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010Nature, Once Removed: The (Un) Natural World in Contemporary DrawingLehman College Art Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal - Issue #10White Columns, New York City, NYGroup
2009Gloom RockSteve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles, CASolo
2009Linkage, Artists Select ArtistsMuseum of Contemporay Art Detroit, Detroit, MIGroup
2008Gary PanterClementine Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2008Gary Panter: Daydream TrapThe Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CTSolo
2008Aspects of Mel's Hole  -  Grand Central Art CenterCalifornia State University Fullerton, Santa Ana, CAGroup
2008In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz FactorLaguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CAGroup
2007Gary Panter: Ideal HatchlingTalley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, TXSolo
2007EverythingTalley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, TXGroup
2007UnInked - Paintings, Sculpture and Graphic WorkPhoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZGroup
2007SITEings  -  Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA)Winston-Salem, NCGroup
2006Gary PanterBilly Shire Fine Arts, Culver City, CASolo
2006Gary Panter and Art ChantryPhilip Slein Gallery, Saint Louis, MOGroup
2006Masters of American ComicsThe Jewish Museum of New York, New York City, NYGroup
2006Masters of American ComicsMilwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WIGroup
2005Gary Panter: New PaintingsTalley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, TXSolo
2005Masters of American ComicsMOCA Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005Masters of American ComicsHammer Museum, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005Raw, Boiled and Cooked - Comics on the VergeGrand Central Art Center - California State University Fullerton, Santa Ana, CAGroup
2004The Print Show  -  - Exit ArtNew York City, NY (closed, 2012Group
2004Fifth International Biennial Exhibition: Disparities and Deformations: Our GrotesqueSite Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NMGroup
2004SITE Santa Fe's Fifth International BiennialSITE Santa Fe Biennial, Santa Fe, NMGroup
2003Write OnWebb Gallery, Waxahachie, TXGroup
2003Le Dernier Cri: Legendary Publishers of the International UndergroundTrack 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2002Gary Panther - Light ShowPierogi Leipzig, LeipzigSolo
2002Gary Panther - Light ShowPierogi Brooklyn, New York City, NYSolo
2002The Juxtapoz Eight Anniversary Art ShowTrack 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2002KIM JONES - New Work / GARY PANTER -  Light ShowPierogi Brooklyn, New York City, NYGroup
2000Christopher Williams, Fabrice Gygi, Michael Smith, Gary PanterMAGASIN-Centre National d’art Contemporain de Grenoble, GrenobleGroup
2000The End: An Independent Vision of Contemporary Culture, 1982-2000  Exit Art, New York City, NY (closed, 2012)Group
1998Pop SurrealismThe Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CTGroup
1995On The Brink 1900-2000. The Turning Of Two CenturiesGalerie St. Etienne, New York City, NYGroup
1993Comic Power: Independent/Underground Comix, U.S.A.Exit Art, New York City, NY (closed, 2012Group
1992Darkness VisibleThe Drawing Center, New York City, NYGroup
1983Comic Relief: The Art Of Contemporary Comics And CartoonsHallwalls at The Church, Buffalo, NYGroup
1976Gary Panter and Laurick Heitzman: DrawingsContemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TXGroup