Ed Ruscha: Fifty Years of Painting

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Hayward, Oc 14 to Jan 10, 2010<br>

The first major UK retrospective to focus exclusively on the paintings of one of the most influential and pioneering American artists of the past half-century. Spanning Ed Ruscha’s entire career, the exhibition features 78 paintings, many on public display for the first time, and reveals the depth and breadth of Ruscha’s achievement as a painter whose interests in printed matter, graphic design, cinema, photography and the cultural landscape of the American West make his elegant and provocative work both playful and subversive. source

  • words as forms, words as "little zones of thought", language scavenged from American vernacular, language as landscape
  • range of meanings can evolve
  • range of textures
  • pencil marks remain - painted - for example, 20th Century Fox
  • strong diagonals - lots happens in the bottom left-hand corner - horizontal instead of vertical, aerial perspective
  • edge paintings - reference to books, lettering on the spine
  • tension between order and destruction
  • shadows, silhouettes, soft/hard edges and soap bubbles
  • dark on dark
  • Boy Scout Utility Modern
  • waste-retrieval method
  • answer-paintings

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</td> <td width="250px" valign="top" style="padding-left: 20px; border-left: 1px dotted #69c;"> 294.jpg<br> Hi Honey, 1981, Oil on Canvas

Quotes: Vogue October 2009

'I always feel Ed is just a word away' Dennis Hopper<br>

'Ed is a really lovely guy and you can see that in his work' Sting<br>

'I own an Ed Ruscha work - it's a graphic piece that just says the word SO. I was thinking about making it a collaborative piece by sewing the word WHAT, and hanging them together. For Christmas, Ed gave me a beach towel which I just love to lie on.' Tracey Emin<br>

'Ed is sleek. He is sharp. He is stylish. He is simply stunning. He is his work. He is one cool man with an astonishing voice in the world of contemporary art' Stella McCartney<br>

'Ed Ruscha is the most handsome 'cowboy' artist I've ever seen. I think his paintings are not only beautiful to look at but also have a sad, poetic and painfully truthful commentary on America... He is a true American hero: the lonesome cowboy pointing a finger at our consumer greed' Jerry Hall<br>

'We've never exactly worked together, though Talking Heads did use Ed's picture 'Sand in the Vaseline' for a best-of collection. Sadly, I lost the Ruscha that I owned in the divorce. (That sounds like an Ed piece.)' David Byrne<br>