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.
|2014||Binding Desire: Unfolding Artists Books||Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA||Group|
|2013||Gary Panter, The Magnetic Lady||Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, New York City, NY||Solo|
|2013||Unhinged||Pierogi Brooklyn, New York City, NY||Group|
|2013||Unhinged||Pierogi Leipzig, Leipzig||Group|
|2012||Someday All the Adults Will Die! Punk Graphics 1971-1984||Hayward Gallery, London||Group|
|2012||Panegyric - Forde||Espace d'art contemporain, Geneva||Group|
|2012||Joshua White and Gary Panter’s Light Show||Museum of Contemporay Art Detroit, Detroit, MI||Group|
|2012||Under The Influence: The Comics||Lehman College Art Gallery, New York City, NY||Group|
|2011||Gary Panter .- Paintings 1986-Present||Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, New York City, NY||Solo|
|2011||Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981||The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CA||Group|
|2011||Gumption||ZieherSmith, New York City, NY||Group|
|2010||Gary Panter||Pasadena City College Art Gallery, Pasadena, CA||Solo|
|2010||Mutant Pop||Loyal, Malmö||Group|
|2010||Living the Dream||Fuse Gallery, New York City, NY||Group|
|2010||Nature, Once Removed: The (Un) Natural World in Contemporary Drawing||Lehman College Art Gallery, New York City, NY||Group|
|2010||Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal - Issue #10||White Columns, New York City, NY||Group|
|2009||Gloom Rock||Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA||Solo|
|2009||Linkage, Artists Select Artists||Museum of Contemporay Art Detroit, Detroit, MI||Group|
|2008||Gary Panter||Clementine Gallery, New York City, NY||Solo|
|2008||Gary Panter: Daydream Trap||The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT||Solo|
|2008||Aspects of Mel's Hole - Grand Central Art Center||California State University Fullerton, Santa Ana, CA||Group|
|2008||In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz Factor||Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA||Group|
|2007||Gary Panter: Ideal Hatchling||Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, TX||Solo|
|2007||Everything||Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, TX||Group|
|2007||UnInked - Paintings, Sculpture and Graphic Work||Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ||Group|
|2007||SITEings - Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA)||Winston-Salem, NC||Group|
|2006||Gary Panter||Billy Shire Fine Arts, Culver City, CA||Solo|
|2006||Gary Panter and Art Chantry||Philip Slein Gallery, Saint Louis, MO||Group|
|2006||Masters of American Comics||The Jewish Museum of New York, New York City, NY||Group|
|2006||Masters of American Comics||Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI||Group|
|2005||Gary Panter: New Paintings||Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, TX||Solo|
|2005||Masters of American Comics||MOCA Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA||Group|
|2005||Masters of American Comics||Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA||Group|
|2005||Raw, Boiled and Cooked - Comics on the Verge||Grand Central Art Center - California State University Fullerton, Santa Ana, CA||Group|
|2004||The Print Show - - Exit Art||New York City, NY (closed, 2012||Group|
|2004||Fifth International Biennial Exhibition: Disparities and Deformations: Our Grotesque||Site Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM||Group|
|2004||SITE Santa Fe's Fifth International Biennial||SITE Santa Fe Biennial, Santa Fe, NM||Group|
|2003||Write On||Webb Gallery, Waxahachie, TX||Group|
|2003||Le Dernier Cri: Legendary Publishers of the International Underground||Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA||Group|
|2002||Gary Panther - Light Show||Pierogi Leipzig, Leipzig||Solo|
|2002||Gary Panther - Light Show||Pierogi Brooklyn, New York City, NY||Solo|
|2002||The Juxtapoz Eight Anniversary Art Show||Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA||Group|
|2002||KIM JONES - New Work / GARY PANTER - Light Show||Pierogi Brooklyn, New York City, NY||Group|
|2000||Christopher Williams, Fabrice Gygi, Michael Smith, Gary Panter||MAGASIN-Centre National d’art Contemporain de Grenoble, Grenoble||Group|
|2000||The End: An Independent Vision of Contemporary Culture, 1982-2000||Exit Art, New York City, NY (closed, 2012)||Group|
|1998||Pop Surrealism||The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT||Group|
|1995||On The Brink 1900-2000. The Turning Of Two Centuries||Galerie St. Etienne, New York City, NY||Group|
|1993||Comic Power: Independent/Underground Comix, U.S.A.||Exit Art, New York City, NY (closed, 2012||Group|
|1992||Darkness Visible||The Drawing Center, New York City, NY||Group|
|1983||Comic Relief: The Art Of Contemporary Comics And Cartoons||Hallwalls at The Church, Buffalo, NY||Group|
|1976||Gary Panter and Laurick Heitzman: Drawings||Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX||Group|