John Lurie: Works on Paper

May 1–September 4, 2006

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is pleased to present John Lurie's first solo museum exhibition. While many know Lurie's work in film, television, and music, he has also been a visual artist since the 1970s. This exhibition will focus on approximately 80 recent watercolors and works on paper. John Lurie: Works on Paper is on view from May 1 through September 4, 2006 in P.S.1's Kunsthalle gallery.

By combining text and images in surprising and quixotic ways, Lurie creates a personal mythology that blurs distinctions between real experiences and the imaginary. Through strange and ironic lines like "New York is for idiots" and "If you marry me we can live here," the watercolors are both brash and sensitive, honest and cavalier, implying a sense of fantastic narrative and extended moments.

A menagerie of animals figure into Lurie's work. Rabbits, buffalo, horses, pigs, birds, and dogs are painted singularly as striking icons or as characters that talk back to their masters with smart-mouth attitudes. His animals are not the personified creatures of children's books, but rather rough and tumble beasts imbued with mythic stature.

An artist, musician, and actor, John Lurie (b. 1952) has been a crucial member of the New York cultural scene for more than thirty years. He starred in a number of feature-length films by Jim Jarmusch, such as Stranger than Paradise (1984) and Down by Law (1986), and appeared in Permanent Vacation (1980). He has scored the music for over 20 films and received a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture for Get Shorty (1995). In 1978, he formed the acclaimed jazz-punk band The Lounge Lizards, which showcased the musicians Evan Lurie, John Medeski, Steven Bernstein, and Calvin Weston. His 1991 comedy series Fishing with John is now a cult classic. In 2000, he released a blues album under the pseudonym Marvin Pontiac. Lurie has exhibited his artwork at Roebling Hall and Anton Kern galleries in New York and Galerie Daniel Blau in Munich.


John Lurie: Works on Paper is organized by P.S.1 Director Alanna Heiss.

This project is made possible by Rosa and Gilberto Sandretto, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr. and supporters of the P.S.1 Annual Exhibition Fund.