Jon Pestoni’s (b. 1969, St. Helena, California) paintings are proposals; formal experiments in which competing—even contradictory—aesthetic positions co-exist, often within the same work. They are documents of an ongoing process of self-examination, cancellation, and improvisation in which the desired result is not only visual surprise but also the continual rediscovery of how art feels in real time, on a moment-to-moment basis. Accordingly, Pestoni considers a painting successfully resolved when it undoes what was originally expected of it. The moods conjured from painting to painting therefore vary widely, and sometimes even contradict one another. Pestoni’s work is borne of the notion that the fullest range of emotional and intellectual associations are part of the act of looking, and that self-examination and self-doubt are the crucibles in which chaos is transformed into meaningful experience.
In 2016, Jon Pestoni was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio. Group exhibitions include Rosebud, Matthew Marks Gallery, Los Angeles (2019); Trace of Existence, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2016); Abstraction (sound and vision), Todd Madigan Gallery, California State University Bakersfield (2013); Alone Together, Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2013); and Real Simple, selections from the collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, Riverview School, East Sandwich, Massachusetts (2012). Pestoni’s work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Cleveland Museum of Art; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Rennie Collection, Vancouver, Canada; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Sammlung Goetz, Munich; and Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, among other institutions. Pestoni lives and works in Los Angeles.