Lydia Pettit
Lydia Pettit

A Willing Participant
2021
Oil and glas paint on canvas
160 × 180 cm

Lydia Pettit

I May Be Defective
2021
Oil on canvas
135 × 150 cm

Lydia Pettit

Grapple
2021
Oil on canvas
110 × 85 cm

Lydia Pettit

The Woman’s Weapon
2021
Oil on canvas
130 × 140 cm

Lydia Pettit

Choir Girl
2021
Oil on canvas
200 × 130 cm

Lydia Pettit

A Willing Participant
2021
Embroidery, quilting, and fabric paint on textile
144 × 53 × 10 cm


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Lydia Pettit

Clench
2021
Oil on wood panel
50 cm (diameter)

Lydia Pettit

The Past is in the Past
2020
Oil on canvas
135 × 100 cm

Lydia Pettit

Cocoon
2021
Oil on canvas with quilting on textile
190 × 138 × 23 cm

Lydia Pettit

I Never Could Cross My Legs
2019
Oil on canvas
135 × 135 cm

Lydia Pettit

Blame
2020
Embroidery on tencel
18 × 22 cm

Lydia Pettit

The Well
2021
Oil and glass paint on panel
77 × 61 cm

Lydia Pettit

Transfiguration
2020
Embroidery and quilting on tercel
165 × 135 cm

Lydia Pettit

You Think I’m Soft
2019
Embroidery and quilting on cotton
60 × 44 cm

Lydia Pettit Galerie Judin
Lydia Pettit Galerie Judin
Lydia Pettit Galerie Judin
Lydia Pettit Galerie Judin
Lydia Pettit Galerie Judin
Lydia Pettit Galerie Judin
Lydia Pettit Galerie Judin
Lydia Pettit Galerie Judin
Lydia Pettit Galerie Judin
Lydia Pettit Galerie Judin
Lydia Pettit Galerie Judin
Lydia Pettit Galerie Judin
Lydia Pettit Galerie Judin
Lydia Pettit Galerie Judin
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About

The body and the self as her home and castle – and a battleground. In search of a truce, the work of American artist Lydia Pettit oscillates between these two poles. It spans large-format paintings, quilts, finely wrought embroidery, and many stages in between. Paintings are extended or virtually smothered by textiles, while conversely, quilts and fabrics may feature painted segments. Drawing on this extraordinary range of techniques, Pettit achieves an evocative unity of form and content. Her work revolves around safeguarding and exposure. Palpability has a special roles to play in this context. It is about the actual touching of materials, about the caressing of bodies, including one’s own, but also about being touched in a figurative – and sometimes negative – sense. Also, Pettit’s painted and actual textiles memorialize the applied arts, for centuries the assigned bastion and only legitimate expression of female artistry.

Pettit herself describes the subject of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as one of her main concerns. She has come up with a startling metaphor to bring this topic closer to everyone: “Living with PTSD is like living in a haunted house.” In terms of language and imagery, Pettit creates impressive analogies for psychological states, addressing topics of trauma, body politics, and mental health. Thus, with even minute displays of emotion – cramped hands or anxious eyes – Pettit is capable of communicating complex psychological states and processes in her work. In any case, her work is all about the inward and the outward gaze, the self-perception and the perception of the others, and about which one really matters. For that, the artist doesn’t shy away from frequently resorting to her own body and countenance – as a metaphor for the bodies and selves of us all being both, a battleground and a refuge in today’s society.

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Lydia Pettit was born in Maryland in 1991 and graduated from the city’s Institute College of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and photography in 2014. The same year, she and her partner founded Platform Arts Center in Baltimore, which supported young, regional and low-income artists in two ways. One was through affordable studio space, and the other was through a gallery that Pettit and her partner ran. In 2017, they closed the gallery – and Pettit turned her attention to her own practice. She moved to London, where she received her Master of Arts at the Royal College of Art in 2020. Today, Pettit works and lives in East London’s Bow area.

Pettit is currently preparing her first solo exhibition with Galerie Judin, which will be accompanied by a comprehensive exhibition catalogue published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König.


Chronology


Biography

1991
Born in Towson, MD
2014
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Maryland Institute College of Art, MD
2020
Royal College of Art, MA Painting, Royal College of Art, London

Lives and works in London.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2021
Introductions: Lydia Pettit, White Cube, London
Lydia Pettit: The Well, Galerie Sebastien Bertrand, Geneva
2018
Lydia Pettit: BIG SEXY, School 33, Baltimore, MD
2017
Murmurs: New Paintings by Lydia Pettit, Hotel Indigo, Baltimore, MD

Selected Group Exhibitions

2022
GIALLO! Lydia Pettit & Scandebergs (Stefano Colombini, Alberto Albanese), Trafalgar Avenue, London
2020 
London Grads Now, Saatchi Gallery, London
50/50, Fold Gallery, London
Royal College of Art Show, Kristen Hjellegjerde Gallery, London
Tomorrow: London, White Cube, London
Portraits & Some Standing Figures, Galerie Sebastien Bertrand, Geneva, CH
Signature Art Prize Gala, Bankside Hotel, London
2019
Bodies: Self & Sex, No. 20 Arts, London
Sunny Art Prize 2019, Sunny Art Centre, London
A RAW GARDEN, Pinch Projects, Fitzrovia Gallery, London
RBA Rising Stars Exhibition, Royal Overseas League, London
Painters on the Other Side, Dyson Gallery, London
2018
DEEP STRETCH, Field Projects, New York, NY

Honors, Awards and Grants

2020
Jealous Prize, Jealous Gallery, London
Young Contemporary Artist Award Shortlist, Newcastle upon Tyne
Signature Art Prize Finalist, London
2019
Sunny Art Prize Shortlist, London
Neo: Artprize Shortlist, Bolton
Royal Society of British Artists Rome
Fellowship Semifinalist, London
2018
Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Semifinalist, Baltimore, MD
2016
Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, Quebec, QC
2015
Alumni Residency Grant at Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan
2014
Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, Quebec, QC