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Richard Pettibone (American, b.1938)


Birth Place: Los Angeles, CA USA


Who is painter Richard Pettibone?

Richard Pettibone is a pop artist painter who was one of the first to use “appropriation” techniques to recontextualize and reconstitute existing art. His works are often minuscule such as shadow boxes and miniatures and frequently work within the postmodern framework of art. This means that his pieces often ask difficult questions of the art community, testing the limits of originality, intellectual property, and even the expectations for art to be of a certain size. 

While Pettibone seemingly revels in these controversies, his work often shows a sense of humor about itself that is endearing. He uses cows and flowers frequently, pays homage to Warhol by using tiny little soup cans, and even mimicking the visual effects of Mondrian’s work. His pieces are highly sought after by collectors and make a great addition to any prospective buyers library. He received a grant from the NEA in 1988. 

What kind of art does Richard Pettibone make?

Richard Pettibone is best known for his copies and miniatures. His self-described process is called, “cloning” where he copies an entire work from a great like Jasper Johns or Roy Lichtenstein. Pettibone is a self-described Dadaist and sees these copies as an extension of this philosophy. In a New York Times profile from 2005, writer Roberta Smith wrote that Pettibone is “completely unperturbed by this apparent lack of originality.” More recently, Pettibone’s clones have come from some of our most heralded masters of the 20th century, with copies of Warhol, Duchamp, and even Mondrian making appearances in his work. 

How did painter Richard Pettibone get started?

Born in the 1930s, Richard Pettibone grew up in Los Angeles. He showed an early interest in the art world and enrolled at Pasadena City College and then eventually at the Otis Art Institute in LA where he would earn an MFA in 1962. 1964 marked the first year that a Pettibone “clone” appeared in public when he did a copy of the famous Warhol soup cans. He followed this with a series of clones of Ed Ruscha and Roy Lichtenstein, made famously with his preferred medium of oil on canvas or silkscreens. 

How much are Richard Pettibone paintings worth?

Richard Pettibone’s paintings can sell for as much as six figures or as little as a few thousand. On the high end, this can easily travel into the $300,000 range depending on the piece (and the artist it was based on). His famed Three Flags (Jasper Johns) sold for $374,700 at auction on November 11th, 2004. His highest-selling piece was a collection of Warhol images entitled Saturday Disaster, Train Wreck, and others (1971) which sold for $688,000 on November 16th, 2006. 

Where to buy Richard Pettibone paintings for sale?

See works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Richard Pettibone paintings?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services department.

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